The Origin of Social Media

Since its origin in 1979, social media has transformed into a platform used extensively by businesses and individuals not only to advertise and campaign themselves, but also to understand the customers’ and clients’ requirements better.

There have been several milestones throughout the evolution of social media. The introduction of a programme that allowed people to communicate effectively over the internet using newly created virtual newsletters created an entire arena of communication that has now become an important thread in the way humans now connect and communicate.

While the first milestone may have been marked by UseNet in the form of a virtual newsletter, the real game changer has been the easy and affordable availability of home computers and by extension, internet relay chats, which remained popular towards the late 1990s. However, the creation of the first recognisably popular social media platform, ‘Six Degrees’ marked a step into the world of communication we live in today in 1997.

By 1999, blog sites that allowed users to freely type and convey their opinions/ ideas over the internet had been popularised. This marked a stage in the history of social media that increased its popularity almost exponentially as blogging sites were succeeded by the introduction of websites such as MySpace, LinkedIn, Photobucket and Flickr that allowed sharing of digital content, profiles and photos in the early 2000s.

Social Media

The launch of YouTube as a platform in 2005 revolutionised the concept of sharing videos and content digitally. By late 2006, websites such as Facebook and Twitter had gone global and MySpace had surpassed both Yahoo and Google to become the most visited website in the United States. By April 2012, Instagram had launched an application for both IOS and android users, boosting its popularity globally and has now become the most popular social media site worldwide.

Today, social media has become an integral part of our daily lives, with dozens of websites serving different purposes and aiding communication, entertainment and research in their own ways.

Social Media

But while marking these milestones, one crucial aspect that was the main reason behind the transformation in the way we connect and communicate has not been the advent of different social media platforms, but the affordability of the internet in the past decade. From a medium that remained exclusive to the upper and upper middle classes, the drop in the prices meant that people from even the humblest of backgrounds could leverage the reach of social media platforms. Notably, this factor weighed in heavily on the success scales of many!