Evolution of Social Media

Here is a quick history lesson on where the social media we use everyday has come from

Now; Instagram, Twitter & Snapchat

We now have social networks gallore, with a different site to suit any interest or purpose whether it be visual [pinterest, instagram, tumblr], short updates and trends [twitter] or the fascination with knowing what exactly people are doing everyday [snapchat]. Who knows what else is coming in the world of social media!

LinkedIn and MySpace

One for more professional networking resources and the other was once sitting on the throne of social media by attracting youth with an environment full of music, videos and cool features. Whilst LinkedIn remains a highly used service today, we all know myspace has thoroughly died out, being replaced by facebook and arguably, instagram etc


Although remaining Harvard campus orientated for 2 years and only opening to public in 2006, the original launch of the site was in 2004. Whilst being very similar to the previous sites, it was easier to use with user friendly features and its advertising model bringing in millions were its biggest drivers of success as well as its ‘be yourself’ design.


Had many of the same traits of today’s online dating sites, where the service leads you to people who have the same interests and commonalities. A year after the launch the site had over 3 million registered users.

The Internet

Scientist Vinton Cerf invented TCP/IP which is how distant and different computers connect with eachother. This made the early version of the internet a usable service.


Born in 1995, it was the first site that developed the concept of reconnecting with old friends and acquaintances from school. No profiles as such but could ‘search for’ and reunite with classmates, hence the name.

AOL; America Online

first launched in 1985 known as the ‘true precursor to today’s social networking sites’ (Saqib, 2016). America Online consisted of member-created communities where members even had ‘profiles’ to list details about themselves…sounds familiar, doesn't it!


started in 1970’s as a business orientated mainframe allowing members to share files and access news and events but expanded into the public in the late 1980’s where discussion forums and ‘messaging’ became the biggest hit.

BBS; Bulletin Board System

Accessed through telephone lines using a modem these were virtual meeting places produced through code that allowed users to communicate with a central system to download files (often used for pirating games) and send messages to other users. Often run by hobbyists with interest-specific content and were mainly local groups as ‘long distance calling rates’ applied if you were a user out of town. Became popular in the 80’s and 90’s when internet fully came into the scene.

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