It’s been a while that the TV show The Social Dilemma went out on Netflix, grabbing the attention of marketers and streaming services lovers around the world. 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.
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, where 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!
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.
The final concern: are big companies in charge of social media using always a positive approach to develop their strategy and influence our lives/behaviors?