Social Media Evolution

Posted on Posted in Social Media

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


<img src="image.jpg" alt="Socialmedia" title="SocialMediaEvolution"/>


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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Sushmita Thakare Jain

Founder & CEO at EFR International
I'm a Work Enthusiast & Blogger, Looking and Searching for what Life has new to Offer.
I help business owners Build their Brands and make them irresistible, profitable & simple to run.
I want to help you build your social media and it's marketing, business growth and digital strategy with confidence, so they're not just successful, but authentic as well as reliable.
If you are not a Business owner, don't worry for you I have services like Finance Management, Retirement Planning and much more to offer!
Other than work I'm someone, who love's 2 enjoy life, I love to keep things sweet n simple just like me!!!
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28 thoughts on “Social Media Evolution

  1. When you go back to the predecessors of social media, things like news groups and forums, what was missing was money. No one ever organized and prevented them within the context of a business plan that could be lpotentially profitable. But also when you think back there was a certain purity about them because of that. We had nothing but printed words to pass along then but if you did participate in these groups they were pretty good ways to find like-minded people.

    1. Ken seems interesting, knowing like minded people personally. But everything has its own beauty like back then there were boundaries around networking while now we can meet like-minded people around the globe than being area or location bound. Yes, I would like to say we must have best of both the worlds and must have such groups wherein we can meet like-minded people around us personally and the internet and social media can be used to meet like-minded people around the globe.

  2. I wouldn’t have any idea how to predict where social media is going! It’s hard enough figuring out where it is. I think it’s easy to get lost in the world of social media–both as a reader and as a writer/blogger. It’s important to set time limits so we manage it, it doesn’t manage us.

    1. Yes, when we are onto something it must be necessary to manage and workout accordingly. Management ensures we are on track instead of being lost in the puzzle!

  3. It feels that Facebook has existed for a lot longer than ten years! How on earth did we share information before then?!

    On leaving college, there was little social media. I did not chat rooms and forums. The Internet was just coming into play and I really did not understand it. It was so foreign to me.

    Your presence on social media is vital especially if one has a business or is trying to make their mark in a particular field. I am signed up to Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Periscope. I barely use Periscope as I found it rather uncomfortable. Perhaps I did not give myself enough time to become accustomed to it.

    1. I myself haven’t tried Periscope yet, will try it out sometime soon. I still recollect the days when I began my engineering was when the social media boom began since then we haven’t look back. Today Phoenicia like you said presence on the social media is vital, I am grateful it is since it has lead me to meet people like you all!

  4. It’s kinda hard to believe a world before facebook and twitter and youtube. We use it so often now that we find it hard to remember what it was like before those things existed. I vaguely remember mySpace and MSN messenger were all the rage back in my high school days. It’s surprising to see that Instagram and Snapchat have only been around for a few years considering those 2 are my most used social media apps right now and feel like they’ve just always been there! Thanks for sharing this post, it’s interesting (and a little nostalgic) to take a stroll down the social media memory lane.

    1. I need to say I am biased towards Instagram when selecting one among the two, can’t imagine sharing snaps on Facebook & Twitter without the app. It’s good to know you liked taking the walk down the memory lane with me!

  5. What an impressive walk through social media history! I don’t think I’m alone when I say I have a bit of a love / hate relationship with social media. I value the opportunities and am often touched by the difference it can make by revealing things going on in the world that we never would have heard about even a decade ago. That said, it has also provided a stage for the haters and trolls in the world and we sadly see it on a daily basis. I have made many friends thanks to social media, and my work has definitely benefited from it, as to the rest, well, I am passionate about preserving free speech so ya gotta take the good with the bad. 🙂

    1. Each coin has two sides it’s up to us which side do we go for it’s good to take account of the good. We come across trollers & haters some way or the other we need to go ahead past them to get what we want or are looking ahead to do.

  6. It’s amazing how swiftly social media has developed, isn’t it. Personally joined Linkedin in 2005 when I lived in Saudi Arabia and loved it. Considering that Swedish businesses were a bit behind as late as 2008 I had to join Facebook. Started a blog a year later and joined Twitter. Google + I joined because Google basically demanded it in order to rank us high on SERPS. Honestly don’t have time for more. Am at the moment writing a short essay for my university studies and, belive it or not, I’m getting information through Twitter. And it’s actually from the official, very conservative, entity in charge of Swedish language planning. We have been exchanging tweets for 24 hours and they confirm crucial information I need for my essay. What a difference social media makes.

    1. Sounds interesting, can we go through it later as well or will it be just for the university students? I made my personal account on LinkdIne last year while had my companies on it before. Facebook is the site which I have spent most time of all. Twitter is interesting & engaging once you are accustomed to it the latest addition even though was around 2 years prior was Instagram, I like sharing my snaps using the same I agree with you where can’t manage any further.
      Looking forward to your short essay, if it can be shared!

  7. That is a great post Sushmita, you make a great storytelling that put me to think and to compare the world of today with the world before the social medias. I agree with RoseMary, it’s very difficult say about how social media will be in the future, ’cause the way that it goes today is too fast, amazing things is coming to us by social media evolution. In my vision, I see social media as responsible to break global barriers of communication and engagement, in a easy and fast way.

    1. Yes, it’s only because of the social media evolution which has helped us break the geographical barriers & built a bridge which brings us all together. It’s good to know you liked the post and the way it was presented & written 🙂

    1. I believe barriers in any form must be broken down, hope they would be in the coming future! Let’s hope for the best.

  8. Hi Sushmita. Such a thorough timeline of social media’s evolution! As a kid my first real exposure was to chat rooms and forums with kids from school. Funny to think how interacting behind a computer screen was considered a social activity even then.

    I continue to be impressed by social media’s ability to bridge customers and brands together. That interaction aspect has always been interesting to me. At times though, I do feel like it’s harder to stay on top of all platforms out there just because there’re only so many hours in the day to be plugged in to technology . Wherever things are headed, we’ll know about it instantly. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Hello Tatia, Social Media these days is bridging the gaps between us for many aspects, the world seems to have become smaller each day. I agree today we can easily access the information and updates easily. It’s difficult to stay on the top in the Social Media race but every time winning is not the only thing that matters also until we are a part of the race we still have chances!

  9. I think evolution is a perfect description, but it also describes the sites that are being used. We all remember MySpace, although it is still around, Facebook has become more popular.
    Knowing how to use what is current, will help us when the next evolution occurs. What will replace FB, and be better, or twitter etc. I think instead of the internet and social media evolving, we may be, we must adopt and change to what is changing with them

    1. You have raised a good point William, the future of the social media is in our hands where in we would adapt as per the site’s evolution status we use currently. In order to further survive just like we need to adapt to the changes same way, it will be needed by the sites to evolve or be a blast from the past!

  10. Interesting post on the background behind social media. I remember when I first started using Facebook, maybe in 2009 or 2010. I would check it once a day after work and thought how quaint. Now I probably check it ten times a day and can’t imagine not sharing stuff with people I hardly see in real life. Its presence is a double-edged sword at times that’s for sure.

    1. I agree with you Jeri, back during my college when I joined Facebook would maximum spend an hour or two on the same now it seems one needs to manage and schedule when to be available on which network. It may be a double-edged sword but has its own beauty. Thank you for sharing your views.

  11. It is amazing how much the internet has evolved in such a short period of time. And I wonder what’s next. I have at least a presence on most social media. But it becomes exhausting and I don’t think I could possibly handle another. Especially when you’re using social media for business, it becomes a lot of work. However, I do miss My Space. I loved creating a theme for my page and picking out music. It felt so creative.

    1. I haven’t tried My Space but using creativity is always fun like we say’ Creativity is a Wild Mind & a Disciplined Eye.’ Social Media is a lot of work, but it adds a dash of fun too for me!

  12. I am wondering what will be the scenario 10 years down the line… The last 1 decade has been a revolutionary period. I miss Orkut though (where I made my first social media profile). Things have changed rapidly since then.

    Nice post. You have researched a lot in this topic it seems.

    1. I started my Social Media journey via Orkut too still miss few of its features. In context to the Social Media yes, the last decade has been revolutionary let’s see what further is stored in the box!
      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your views.

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