When Was Social Media Invented?

The Story Behind This Magic World

Who invented social media is not clear but it’s sure that is a product of web 1.0 that was probably born around 1990. The topic came up again when the TV show The Social Dilemma went out on Netflix, grabbing the attention of marketers and streaming services lovers around the world.

YearMain Event that Impacted Social Media
1997SixDegrees.com Launch
2002Friendster Launch
2004Facebook Launch
2005YouTube Launch
2006Twitter Launch
2007iPhone Release
2010Instagram Launch
2011Snapchat Launch
2012Facebook Acquires Instagram
2013Vine Launch
2016Pokémon Go Craze
2018Facebook-Cambridge Analytica Scandal
Source: Author – “When was social media invented?”

It might be considered nothing special for someone, a kind of “we already knew that”, either a surprise regarding big tech companies sharing their thoughts and data regarding the development of the social media concept/channel. Are you wondering when social media was invented? You landed on the right page.

From Friendster to TikTok

In a world where connections span beyond borders and information flows at the speed of light, it’s fascinating to reflect on how the phenomenon of social media has evolved over the past few decades.

What began as a simple idea to connect people has blossomed into a global revolution that has transformed the way we communicate, share, and interact. Let’s take a journey through time and explore the remarkable evolution of social media.

The Dawn of Social Media: Friendster and MySpace

In the early 2000s, the digital landscape was just beginning to take shape. Friendster, launched in 2002, marked the emergence of a new era. It allowed users to create profiles, connect with friends, and expand their social circles in an online realm. Although Friendster faced its share of challenges, it paved the way for the platforms that would follow.

One such platform was MySpace, which burst onto the scene in 2003. MySpace introduced personalization like never before, allowing users to express themselves through music, graphics, and layouts. This set the stage for the idea that social media was not just about connecting, but also about self-expression and identity.

The Facebook Revolution

In 2004, a college student named Mark Zuckerberg changed the game forever with the launch of Facebook. Initially limited to college campuses, Facebook’s intuitive interface and innovative features quickly captivated a broader audience.

The introduction of the News Feed in 2006 transformed the way users consumed content, giving rise to the concept of updates and posts flowing chronologically.

Microblogging and Visual Revolution

The year 2006 witnessed the birth of Twitter, a microblogging platform that challenged the notion that communication had to be lengthy. With its character limit, Twitter encouraged users to convey their thoughts succinctly, paving the way for real-time updates and the now ubiquitous hashtag culture.

Around the same time, YouTube emerged as a game-changer. Launched in 2005, it provided a platform for sharing and discovering video content. Suddenly, anyone could become a content creator and reach a global audience, sparking a revolution in online video consumption.

Diversification and Specialization

As social media continued to mature, platforms began to diversify. LinkedIn, founded in 2003, tapped into the professional networking space, allowing users to connect with colleagues, industry peers, and potential employers.

Meanwhile, platforms like Instagram (2010) and Pinterest (2010) capitalized on the visual aspect, giving users a space to share images and inspiration.

The Mobile Era and Beyond

The proliferation of smartphones brought about a seismic shift in social media usage. People could now connect on-the-go, leading to the rise of platforms like Snapchat (2011) and TikTok (2016).

Snapchat introduced ephemeral messaging, altering the very nature of online interaction, while TikTok revolutionized short-form video content and creative expression.

The Future of Social Media

As we stand on the cusp of the future, it’s exciting to speculate about what lies ahead. The trajectory of social media is likely to be shaped by emerging technologies such as augmented reality, virtual reality, and artificial intelligence. These innovations have the potential to redefine how we engage with content and connect with others.

Social media history

But today’s question is: when was social media invented? How did we get to this point? And why all of these?

Let’s dig into it with some data and information. How did everything start? We are going to focus on a communication approach, the main reason why social media channels have been invented originally.

Long-distance interaction with friends and family has been a problem for centuries. People have always relied on communication to strengthen interpersonal relationships.

We can define us as social animals, something that during the coronavirus era came out strongly. The roots of social networks are more profound than we think.

Although this may seem like a new trend, websites like Facebook have been a natural product of the development of social networks for hundreds of years.

The first social media site was Six Degrees, made by Andrew Weinreich in 1997. Six Degrees was pretty popular with users until 2003. That’s when Tom Anderson made MySpace.

How was everything at the beginning? Let’s analyze the situation before 1990 when we got a bit of change.

The Power of Social Media Before 1990

The first method of remote communication was the transmission of written notification from person to person, a character: it dates back to 550 years.

This original distribution system became more popular and simplified in the next century. The telegraph was invented in 1792. In this way, they can transmit information over long distances, and the data transmitted on horseback and by riders is much faster.

Telegraph messages were very short. Anyway, it was an innovative way to communicate, sending out news and information.

Pneumatic mail was developed in 1865, and although it is no longer accessible outside of bank offices, it created another way to send letters to buyers quickly.

The air column used the underground air duct to transfer the capsules from one area to another under pressure. In the last decade of the 1800s and so on, two important discoveries were made.

The phone of 1890 and the radio of 1891. Both technologies are still used, but the latest version is much more complicated than previous versions.

Phone lines and wireless signals allow people to communicate in real-time over long distances, never before. Now we have an overview of where we were and where we are going, contextualizing the technology level, an ancient development of some growth hacking strategies. When was social media invented? Did you clarify your doubts? And what happened next?

In the Wind of the 20th Century

In the 20th century, technology began to develop rapidly. The first supercomputers came out in the 1940s. scientists’ and engineers’ goals were developing some specific methods to create networks. What networks? Networks between these computers: internet!

The oldest forms of the internet? They were developed in the 1960s. Network technology developed in the 1970s and UseNet in 1979 allowed users to communicate through virtual bulletins.

In the 1980s, home computers became more frequent, and social networks became more complex. Internet chat (IRC) was first used in 1988 and remained popular until the 1990s.

Six Degrees, the first famous social networking site, was founded in 1997. The main feature? Allowing users to upload information, such profiles useful to make virtual friends. In 1999, the early blogs became popular and made a boost in social networks.

Today we have online bot and AI that definitely changed the rules of this game: that’s impressive considering the starting point!

Power Today

There are many types of social networking sites, many of which can be linked and cross-linked. An environment that is able to attract as many users as possible around the world: on other hand the concept of followers! The proximity between users is not part of the game.

The future of social networks can only be predicted in the next decade or even 100 years, but they will somehow exist as long as people live. When was social media invented so?

To sum up, we think that the right answer needs to be associated with why social media have been invented, since the world is changing constantly, digital marketing changed the world, and technology is trying to follow up with it, trying to change our daily life as well.

In conclusion, the evolution of social media from the early days of Friendster to the dynamic landscape of TikTok showcases how human connection and communication have been profoundly impacted by technology.

Each platform that emerged added a new layer to the social media tapestry, transforming the way we share stories, connect with friends, and engage with the world. As we embrace the possibilities of tomorrow, let’s remember the journey that brought us here and anticipate the exciting chapters yet to be written in the ever-evolving story of social media.

Two final concerns and points, several years have gone since social media was invented: are big companies in charge of social media using always a positive approach to develop their strategy and influence our lives/behaviors? Have social media been invented to enable new business models? Did the pandemic boosted social media importance?

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