Evolution of Social Media
Social Media is defined as websites and applications that enable users to create and share content/information or to participate and communicate in social networking. This definition is just to brag. But today social media is a term that everyone knows. Even the distant areas of the world have heard of facebook and twitter and are possibly using it on a regular basis.
Social media has now become an integral part of the society, but the social media has evolved and grown so much in past couple of decades, from a world where users searched for information to a world where users can generate and spread the information. Social media has evolved so much till now and it is still in the process of evolution. We’ll see in future what social media holds for us, but for now we will dig into the history and evolution of social media.
1997: The Birth of Modern Social Media
The first actual social media site which was the first modern social network was “Six Degrees”. Six Degrees was launched in 1997 and it was named after the “six degrees of separation theory”.
It allowed users to create a profile and become friends with other users. Six Degrees lasted from 1997 to 2001. In 2000 it was purchased for $125 million and in 2001 it was shut down. From six degrees the internet moved into the era of blogging and instant messaging. In 1999 LiveJournal started and took a different approach to social networking. LiveJournal was a social network built around constantly-updated blogs.
LiveJournal encouraged its users to follow one another, create groups and interact. It was the precursor to live update we see now in social network. Then ICQ was born it was the first instant messaging program for PC’s.
2000: Huge development in Social Media
In early 2000’s many huge developments took place. In the year 2000 “Habbo” a game-based social networking site was launched, by then millions of people have got the access to internet and it became common for people to get connected socially online. So many sites have cropped up after the launch of six degrees.
Users could create personal, professional and dating profiles on these sites. In 2000 more and more people were exploring the internet using chat rooms for making friends, dating online and sharing information. But the big bang of social media was still to happen.
2003: First Big Wave of Social Media
Back in the early 2000’s MySpace was the original social media website. It was a popular place to create a profile and make friends. MySpace was founded in 2003 and by the 2006 it had grown to be the most popular social network in the world.
Blogs are also a big part of MySpace profiles. In 2006 it introduced MySpace IM an instant messaging client that lets user chat with their friends.
MySpace has inspired websites like Facebook. In 2003 LinkedIn was also founded. It was one of the first mainstream social network dedicate for businesses. LinkedIn is still a social media website today with millions of users geared specifically towards professionals who want to network with each other.
Google’s very own social network “Orkut” was launched in 2004, it let users to share media, update status and communicate through IM (Instant Messaging). Orkut was particularly very popular in Brazil and India.
2005: Social Media giants Facebook and Twitter
In 2004, Mark Zuckerberg launched what would soon become the giant platform on social media. Facebook is the number one website today with billions of users. But back in 2004 it was a social network just for Harvard students. Mark saw the potential in it and facebook eventually become the social network for everyone. Facebook became most popular social media site and surpassed MySpace and Orkut.
Then, in 2006 popularity of text messaging and SMS inspired Jack Dorsey, Biz Stone, Noah Glass and Evan Williams to create Twitter, a service by using which people can send “tweets” to one another with 140 characters or less. Twitter gained a lot of popularity during the 2007 SxSW conference.
2010: Rest of the pack
There were so many different websites who were providing social media services of some kind. To name a few there are Flickr: One of the most earliest and popular photo sharing website. The other photo sharing sites such as Photobucket and Instagram. Instagram is gaining so much popularity now with its ability to express through photos and Instagram stories.
Tumblr: Tumblr is a micro-blogging website. After this period social media has gained immense popularity and the businesses and brands are also using of social media for marketing. The benefits of social media marketing for business began to become quite clear.
Present: Social Media Today
Today there are so many platforms on social media doing everything same but with different purpose. Social media is popular than other platforms and different apps provide different ideas.
Like Instagram is great for the person who can best communicate through the photographs, Twitter is good for person who can communicate or say in short words. Social Media in present is useful to everyone. An individual can use the social media to connect and communicate just like that the businesses and brands can also use social media to promote their product and services in a brand new way by advertising or marketing on social media.
Social Media is largely popular among everyone and these are some of the reasons of it.
- The opportunity to keep in touch with the people. People are more connected to each other because of social media. It helps you find new friends and keep in touch with friends who stay far away from you, with just a one click you can connect with them. That’s how close the social media brought us.
- User friendly interface for everyone. Another important feature of social media is the way it is designed, the interface. Anyone, from a teenager to the elders like parents, grandparents etc. can also use the social media. That’s how easy it is to use for everyone.
- It is FREE! The word “FREE” triggers something in everyone’s mind when we hear it. People will immediately get attracted to anything if its free and using social media is free. People can communicate and connect with each other, use various features available on social media without paying anything for it.
- Exposure for business. Social media marketing is a huge trend right now. Social media helps businesses to come online promote their products and services and spread information about it by marketing it or with the help of an influencer. Companies also use social media platform as their customer service option.
Social media is great platform to communicate, connect, share information etc. we all know that, but over the years in growth of social media it has also received criticism like, There will be no privacy left because of the use of social media, social media can be used by stalkers, it can be used by child predators. There are also examples where people have found out that their social media profile or account is being hacked and embarrassing information posted about them.
Social media has a powerful effect that can be one’s advantage or a biggest downfall. Social Media has come a long way with social networks and social media sites making changes and improvements on a daily basis, there is no doubt that the social media will also evolve in the future.
Although it is impossible to know what social media holds for us in the future, but one thing is sure that it will continue and won’t go away anytime soon. By analyzing the response that social media is getting we must say that it definitely has the longevity and it will grow further.