Social media networks are the subject for this week’s Throw Back Thursday post as we take a look at how social media has evolved over the years. It’s been around for much longer than most of you may think and social media has truly made this world a more knowledgeable place. With the ability to share information with people from all over the globe, we can share ideas, photos, videos and even tips with the entire world. Within minutes, some posts can be seen by millions of viewers, making social media networks one of the best inventions of the past century.
The first social media network can be traced back to the late 70’s. That’s right; it was in 1978 that the first social media network came to life. Obviously it was nothing like Facebook, but the Bulletin Board System, also known as BBS was made to share information with others. This system was the beginning of it all. It was used to share announcements, post meeting times and dates as well as share ideas with the general public. It was the very first virtual community.
BBS was the major player in social media for nearly a decade. Although AOL opened its doors in 1985, it didn’t become a popular social network environment until the early 90’s. In 1994, Geocities launched which made the social media network industry grow rapidly. This platform allowed users to create their very own websites which made it easy for the average person to get online and share information.
1997 marked one of the most important years in social media network for the 20th century. SixDegrees.com was launched which was a site that allowed users to build profiles and add friends. The world of blogging was also introduced in 1997 and AOL created their instant messenger software that allowed users to have live chat. One year later in 1998, the biggest website on the internet launched; Google was born and revolutionized the virtual world.
Friends Reunited launched in 1999 which was one of the biggest social media networks at the time. It made it easy for old classmates to see what their old schools pals were up to and achieving in life. It brought people together and was a huge inspiration for sites like MySpace and Facebook.
In 2002, Friendster launched and reached over 3 million users in a matter of months. Social networking was now viral and everyone wanted to have their very own profile. That same year, AOL had over 34 million members which was truly impressive. Just one year later in 2003, the giant MySpace launched and remained at the number one spot for social media networks until 2008.
When Facebook grew, it grew fast and in 2009 it had over 200 million users. By 2011, Facebook reached over 550 million users which was the biggest amount of members for a website in history. Today, Facebook has over 1.1 billion users and it continues growing at a rapid pace; Facebook is without a doubt the largest social media network in the world.
Sites like Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, Chatroulette, Chatrandom and many other websites have made the world a smaller place. Social media networking is definitely here to stay.