Today Google is celebrating its 18th birthday. The company is showing everyone a cute, celebratory doodle on 27 September to mark the company’s coming-of-age. Just as Google has evolved so did the internet usage & social media.
Let’s take a walk down the memory lane with the evolution of the social media.
To begin with, today social media has become a ubiquitous part of daily life, but this growth and evolution have been in the works since the late 70s.
Social media has only become mainstream for roughly over a decade. But the journey began with the primitive days of newsgroups to the introduction of early chat rooms, social media has changed the way we communicate, gather and share information, and given rise to a connected global society.
By definition, social media is
Internet-based software and interfaces that allow individuals to interact with one another, exchanging details about their lives such as biographical data, professional information, personal photos and up-to-the-minute thoughts.
The social media when originated was strictly personal in the beginning used for interaction between friends & family further was adopted by businesses since they wanted to take advantage of a popular new communication method to reach out to existing customers, for example, by informing them of sales and offering them special coupons or to convert new.
Statistics reveal nearly 9,000 tweets and 2,000 Instagram photos are published each second.
Today social media is a bridge giving access to the people, stories, companies which were difficult to at some point in time.
Sean Gardner says:
Social media is not just an activity; it is an investment of valuable time and resources. Surround yourself with people who not just support you and stay with you, but inform your thinking about ways to WOW your online presence.
If we have a look at the history of social media, it describes the evolution
Before there were social media in the 1970s and 1980s many spent most of their time on social networks like dating sites and online forums.
Online forums also played a large part in the evolution of the social web. These were really descendants of the BBSs popular in the 70s and 80s but usually came with a more user-friendly interface, making them easier for non-technical visitors to use.
The internet became the viable marketing tool from the year 1995 it began with search marketing, prompting brands to create websites to establish an online presence. As Google, Yahoo and MSN’s search engines evolved, companies turned to SEO strategies to remain at the top of search results.
Six Degrees, Livejournal, and Friendster were the earliest form of social media.
First recognizable social media site, Six Degrees, was created in 1997. It enabled users to upload a profile and make friends with other users while LiveJournal was a social network built around constantly updated blogs.
In 1999, the first blogging sites became popular, creating a social media sensation that’s still popular today. As blogs, popularity increased marketers began to recognize the potential of content marketing.
The early 2000s brought some huge developments in social networking and social media. Friendster operated by allowing people to discover their friends and then friends-of-friends, and so on to expand their networks.
The year 2003 – 2004, brought the arrival of social media sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, and MySpace it initiated the shift of internet users from multiplayer online games into social networking sites.
Sites like Photobucket and Flickr facilitated online photo sharing.
Hi5 is another major social network, established in 2003 and currently boasting more than 60 million active members according to their own claims.
LinkedIn was founded in 2003 and was one of the first mainstream social networks devoted to business.
MySpace was founded in 2003 and by 2006 had grown to be the most popular social network in the world. MySpace differentiated itself from competitors by allowing users to completely customize the look of their profiles. Users could also post music from artists on MySpace and embed videos from other sites on their profiles.
YouTube came out in 2005, creating an entirely new way for people to communicate and share with each other across great distances.
We all know Facebook started out as a Harvard-only social network back in 2004, it quickly expanded to other schools, then to high schools, businesses and eventually everyone (by 2006).
In 2008 Facebook became the most popular social networking site, surpassing MySpace, and continues to grow even further.
There were other networking platforms like Multiply, Orkut, Kontain which came and went.
We have used Messengers like BlackBerry messenger from 2006 which was surpassed by Whatsapp in the year 2010. Other than these messengers we are also using Facebook messenger.
Facebook and Twitter both became available to users throughout the world. These sites remain some of the most popular social networks on the Internet. Other sites like Tumblr, Spotify, Foursquare and Pinterest began popping up to fill specific social networking niches.
Today the social media is not only limited to websites we use the internet not only in our computers but also in our smartphones as smartphones get smarter, so do the apps, and you can now do more than ever.
From fan favorites like Instagram and Facebook to newcomers like live-streaming Periscope, there’s never been a better time to find a social network that’s tailored to your tastes.
Today, there are tremendous varieties of social networking sites & apps and many of them can be linked to allow cross-posting. This creates an environment where users can reach the maximum number of people without sacrificing the intimacy of person-to-person communication.
Networking sites which were initially created to help people connect with friends and family, like-minded people or those with similar interests today has come a long way from this concept of ‘connecting’.
These sites today dictate the manner in which we communicate with others across these channels besides becoming the latest marketing channels for advertisers and brands using which they can reach out to their audiences.
Over the years, social media has evolved hugely and it today affects us in more ways than one. The various networking sites have virtually taken over our lives today and for a person like me who earns nearly half her working hours online, it is difficult for me to imagine that there once existed a life without social media.
The smartphones can be largely credited for the rise in popularity of real-time updates. They allow users to post photos, updates, links, create polls, subscribe to RSS feeds and more.
Real-time updates have led to an increase in the number of people who are now lifecasting or lifestreaming virtually everything they do.
It seems that nowadays there are social and user-generated sites for just about every activity you can imagine. There are social shopping sites. Social financial planning sites. Sites for getting book, movie, app, and other reviews. Sites to share your goals and meet like-minded people. Sites to plan your travels and share them with others. And sites to help you make decisions on just about anything.
Social media has become a huge part of the lives of millions of people worldwide. Whether it’s something as simple as looking up reviews of movies from real, live people or getting advice on major life decisions, there are social sites out there to provide you with the information you seek.
Even on general-purpose social networks and social media sites like Twitter, there are thousands of ways to get input on just about anything.
There may be no area in interactive marketing that’s moving as quickly as Social Media Marketing.
Today Facebook, Twitter, and Google are at the center of this ecosystem. Not only these three companies own the most popular services, but they create a virtuous circle by extending the reach of content and discussions.
There are over 2 billion people online at any given time. Around 23% of the total time spent on the internet is spent on browsing or interacting within social media sites. At least 53% of individuals who are active on social media sites such as Facebook are following a brand. With the help of the global internet, more and more customers (if not all) are expecting their brands to have an online presence.
The iPhone, tablets, iPads and Android-operated phones make internet browsing more accessible for consumers, and social media marketing allows companies to reach out to more target markets. As long as the internet exists, social media will remain an important part of marketing strategies.
Our growing love of social media is not just changing the way we communicate – it’s changing the way we do business, the way we are governed, and the way we live in society.
Below is an infographic wherein we can check out the evolution of the social media
Across industries, social media is going from a ‘good to have’ to an essential component of any business strategy.
With the rapid evolution of social media, one needs a fundamental understanding of how to listen and engage on social media.
How are you engaged in the social media?
Have you mastered the social media?
What do you think where are we heading?How do you believe social media will be in the future?
What will social media look like in 5 or even 10 years from now? 15 or 20 years from now?
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