When looking into the history of social media, many deem “Six Degrees” as the first social media site similar to how we see them today. Created in 1997 it included lists of friends and family as well as school affiliation. Although probably not considered “social media” in today's terms there were stepping stones for digital communication technology that made social media possible. The very first email was sent in 1971, by 1979 Usenet was created. Usenet is a worldwide communication connection where you could read and post messages, similar to today's internet forums. In 1988 relay chat had been introduced, used for sharing files and links. Aol instant messenger created in 1997. Aol quickly became the primary site used for digital communication and changed how the internet was being used. 1998 was a big year for internet advancement as it marks the launch of google as a search engine and would transform the internet forever.
The golden era as it’s labeled in a recent timeline made from an article is what the 2000s brought into the world in terms of social media, and the technology revolving around social media.Although there are few instances from 2000-2004 there are a few key dates that stick out and definitely. Social media is defined by websites and applications that enable users to share and create content. This disables some of the events of this social media history to really be considered social media. Three major inventions of the recent years however one being the introduction of Wikipedia which occurred in 2001. Wikipedia isn’t in most people’s eyes social media but by the definition it is considered so. Further along the timeline another minor event that occurred which was like a building block for the later introduced instagram was Hi5. Same concept just a few years early. Another huge event for social media occurred in 2003 with the introduction to one of the first multi-faceted social media types allowing you to chat and make friends across the web. Finally the last major social media of my era was “The Facebook” which in some people’s eyes is myspace 2.0, but was only available for students at Harvard University.
A lot of changes have occurred since 2005; although sites like Facebook and Skype were already developed by this point, this is the era where these sites along with many others formed what we now use in our everyday lives as social media. With the exception (for the most part) of Twitter, this era was very much image based. Youtube and Vine being video, Tumblr, Pinterest, Instagram, and Snapchat being image. Although it hadn’t gained popularity until recently, Tinder is another very important company that emerged out of this time. This is because it set the tone for dating apps with its swiping interface and image centrality. The biggest event to happen in 2005 in terms of social media was Youtube. Youtube today is a huge, lucrative business that allowed users to create their own content. Content creation was/is an enormous focus during this time, encouraging users to use their imagination and creativity to put something out in the world, and social media allows them to do that. All in all this time frame, from 2005 to the present, was where these social medias grew and were cultivated into something the world hasn’t seen before.
2010- Pinterest and Instagram
2011- Snapchat2013- Vine
Different types of social media:
Some of the biggest social based platforms were invented during this 4 year period in social media the big three post based social media’s are Myspace, Facebook, and Twitter. These are the some of the focal points of social media all together. Myspace opened the gate to the other two and was based off of the same things as Facebook. Myspace was essentially connecting to friends, having a profile with a cool theme song and then have your top 4 or 8 friends depending on how you choose to display them. I think that this was a very huge landmark in establishing the next platform which is Facebook. The idea is in some ways the same but also very different. If my memory serves me correctly the main purpose of myspace was to just post statuses and for the most part Facebook which was also meant for connecting with your friends. But now a days if you log onto facebook it’s more along the lines of posting videos and the occasional status. This all leads up to the most influential social media, which is Twitter. Twitter uses up to date statuses and posts for sharing media and also in a sense tweeting your feelings. People also use it to reach out to fans, let people know where they will be, and most recently it has been used in a major part of the 2016 election. All three of these are post based social media which means that it’s entirely about posting words and what you’re thinking about at the time. It doesn’t ever really seem to steer away from that unless you decide to share a video or media in that form. I think that mainly these three platforms of social media have really opened the door for the different varieties of social media that we continue to see being produced.
The top three Image based social media sites based on popularity in order are Instagram, Snapchat, and Tumblr. Instagram is a social media used for sharing the photos and videos you take to your profile. The pictures the user posts show up on the news feed of anyone who follows you and they have the option to like or comment on the post. On the news feed you will see posts from the accounts and people you choose to follow. Instagram is a fun way to create a sort of timeline of pictures and memories from your life and share with friends. You can tag photos with hashtags to organize them globally with similar posts. Snapchat is a messaging app that works by sending or “snapping” pictures or videos to friends. You have the option to add captions, filters, and drawings to the images before sending them. After sending a snap, you chose how long it will last anywhere between 1 and 10 seconds per snap before it disappears. Another feature is your “story” the story is a collection of snapchats of your choice that all of your friends can view and these posts last up to 24 hours. The app is loaded with fun features like a best friends list and a interactive discover page that features popular articles from sources like CNN, ESPN, and MTV. Snapchat is a fun way to communicate and connect with friends but you can also follow celebrities and get an insight to their daily lives that you wouldn't normally see. Tumblr tends to be a more creative and self expression social media platform. Tumblr is a blogging site that allows users to share all types of multimedia on their page. The site is centered around the “dashboard” which includes new content from the blogs they follow. Tumblr seems to be less about the user and more about things they create or find interesting and what to share with others.
Video based social media platforms have been increasingly popular in the last 10 years and these are two of the most popular:
Vine is a video sharing service wherein users can make/share six-second video clips. It first debuted in 2012, with Twitter acquiring it just before its launch. The appeal of Vine is that users have to be creative in order to be able to tell a story because there is only six seconds with which to work with. The most popular clips are often ones that are made by musicians, although very short comedy sketches are also prefered. Some increasingly popular users include, Shawn Mendes, Nash Grier, Cameron Dallas, Lele Pons, Amanda Cerny, Josh Peck, King Bach to name a few. Due to the rising popularity of the this platform, the users that are mentioned before, have turned into a type of nontraditional celebrity by their fans.
YouTube began in 2005 primarily as a video sharing service which evolved into a more content creator-centric atmosphere. Google saw the potential of YouTube and decided to buy it for $1.65 billion in stocks. Politicians, terrorists, celebrities, and the average person can create videos on YouTube as long as they follow the rules. Like Vine, YouTube has created huge celebrities that can make as much as “real” celebrities due to the sponsorships they receive. To some, especially young people, they are “real” celebrities because they watch their content everyday. Some of the most subscribed channels include PewDiePie, Smosh, nigahiga, Jenna Marbles, Markiplier, and Zoella. The interesting thing about this platform is that television, there’s many types of content videos they can choose from. These are the 13 most popular; product reviews, How-to videos, vlogs, gaming videos, comedy/skit videos, hauls, memes/tags, favorites/best of videos, educational, unboxings, Q & A’s, collection videos, and finally pranks.