Social Media – Then and Now

Written by
Kelly Kenders

It seems like today if you are not on some sort of social media platform, then you are not in the know. In the past, you would be watching a show on T.V. and then breaking news would interrupt the show to tell you what tragic or exciting event is taking place at that moment.  Now, the newscasters sometimes informs you about the news, after it already hit every social media platform. Whether you are reading what’s trending, receiving updates in your feed and or receiving texts from friends, social media seems to receives it first.

Six Degrees

So when did social media change our world forever? Back in 1997, the first recognizable social media site was created. This was called Six Degrees. I for one have not heard of this platform until doing research. This site was founded by a financial analyst and legal professional in 1996. He used the concept of everyone is connected by 6 degrees of separation to start this site. Six Degrees, had popular features such as profiles, friend’s lists and school affiliations. The site did have millions of registered users, however, with the lack of people connected to the Internet, this did not take off as planned and was sold in 2000. 

Blogging

In 1999, the first blogging sites began to emerge. Which is the segue into creating the social media explosion that is current today. Blogging still is one of the most popular ways to share view points, keep people interacting with you and or adding content to your website for SEO purposes.

Myspace

Myspace was one of the next most popular social media networks that people could engage in years ago. This was founded by several employees from the marketing firm eUniverse in 2003.  Myspace offered engagement with friends, posts, updates to personal profiles, photos, blogs, music and videos. Do you remember changing your top friends on your page? You could also add your favorite songs for all of your friends to listen to and create cool banners to show your personality.

This site was a huge attraction to musical acts. The popularity occurred when people could listen to their bands favorite songs and or search for new and upcoming artists. It helped many bands get their music out there for everyone to hear. This was the start to online marketing for many bands. Myspace was a booming and became the #1 website in 2006. But things began to change and other social media platforms began to grow. Newscorp bought Myspace for $580 million. 

Facebook

By April of 2008, Facebook stole the title of the #1 social media network. Today it is still one of the most popular sites out there. Facebook first launched in 2004, by Mark Zuckerberg, but was limited to Harvard students. This began to expand and was offered to other higher education universities. In 2006, Facebook opened its doors to anyone aged 13 and older. Did you know the name comes from the face book directory, given to United States university students?

When you set up your Facebook account, you can add your name, schools attended, occupation and so on. You can even add your relationship status and add family members relationships; such as mom, aunt, nephew, ect. This social media network has blow up over the years, even grandparents have caught on to the user-friendly platform.  Friends and families can be tagged in photos, share videos, images and keep up to date with what is going on in their daily grind. You know, what people are eating and pictures of their dogs.

This has been a huge marketing for businesses throughout the world. You can create a business page and add posts and ads to advertise your business to different demographics. Adding tags and hash tags creates engagement and allows you to share posts with others and also draw attention to their page as well. It is one of the strongest social media platforms to generate interaction, likes and followers. Facebook isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, even with the growing trend of other platforms out there.

Twitter

Twitter has become another popular site to engage with people on. This was started in 2006, by Jack Dorsey, Noah Glass, Biz Stone, and Evan Williams. The initial attraction to Twitter was people could “Tweet” news and interact with other registered users. The tweets are restricted to 140 characters, but of course you can add a link to allow people to continue to read more. By 2012, Twitter had 100 million users, with 1.6 billion search queries per day and 340 million tweets a day. The cool thing about twitter is, you can add hashtags (#), to create engagement and categorize your tweets to be seen in a variety of searches. By 2016, Twitter had 310 million active users. This too has been a huge way for businesses to interact with clients, engage with clever posts and post ads, etc. 

Instagram

Instagram was launched in 2010 and was created by Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger. It is a mobile photo-sharing site that allows users to share images and videos. Your account can be public or private. Originally you were only allowed to upload a video clip of 15 seconds, now you can upload a video that is a minute or less. Instagram grew from 100 million followers in 2012, to 300 million by 2014. In 2011, Instagram added hashtags to help users search for more specific photographs and people. A perk of Instagram for many is to attract like-minded users to engage with and or share your photographs with. This too is growing and becoming more popular for businesses to use as a marketing tool. People spend the most time on Instagram and Facebook, according to studies. You can showcase your business with visual content as well. Images sell better than text will. This social media platform continues to grow, so get your niche for your business today.

Although there are many other social media networks out there, these are some of the most popular that many of us use today. If you are looking to get started on with social media for your company and do not know where to begin, our Indianapolis Web Design can help. Contact us today and we can create an account and then get started on sharing posts. It is the now, so jump on board.

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