The Evolution of Social Media

Timeline created by Emma Stanec
  • ARPA Created

    ARPA Created
    The Advanced Research Projects Agency was created within the department of defense to conduct more research into computer technologies. These advancements were especially needed to compete in the "Space Race" between the U.S. and the Soviet Union.

    The ARPANET was created when Dr. J.C.R. Licklider moved ARPA's contracts to universities. Four computers were set up at different universities with the goal to have them communicate. They successfully connected two computers from UCLA and The Stanford Research Institute. This was essentially the birth of the internet.
  • Six Degrees

    Six Degrees
    Six Degrees is considered to be the first social networking site and was founded by Andrew Weinreich. Six degrees was the first site to use things like profiles, friends lists, board posts, and messaging.
  • Google

    Google was founded by Sergey Brin and Larry Page in 1998. However, Google did not go public until 2004. Google is the most used search engine in the world and makes an average of $50 billion a year with 99% of their revenue coming from advertising.
  • Napster

    Napster was created by brothers Shawn and John Fanning, along with Sean Parker in 1999. The site was designed as a file sharing program primarily for music. At the height of its popularity, Napster had over 80 million registered users. However, Napster was shut down after a lawsuit was filed against them for distributing copyrighted music
  • First Smartphone

    First Smartphone
    The NTT DoCoMo launched the first phone with 3G network in Japan. This network allowed the phone to send and receive large email attachments and enable video conference calls.
  • LinkedIn

    Linked in was founded in 2002 and was officially launched in 2003 by Reid Hoffman, Allen Blue, Konstantin Guericke, Eric Ly and Jean-Luc Vaillant. It was created as a platform for people to post their resumes in order to create professional connections. This was the first social media site to be focused on something other than recreation and entertainment.
  • Friendster

    Friendster was created by Peter Chin, Jonathan Abrams and Dave Lee in 2002. They created the site to meet new friends, stay in touch with people, and make new connections. Friendster created many patents of interest in the social media realm because they were one of the first sites created. In 2010, many companies were interested in the patents and Facebook gained 18, of those patents, after settling with Napster for $39.5 million.
  • Myspace

    Created by Tom Anderson and Chris DeWolfe in 2003, Myspace could be considered the first extremely successful social media site. This site allowed people to create profiles, express interests, and link to other people's profiles. Myspace specifically encouraged musicians to promote their music which made it incredibly popular among young people. Myspace gained the reputation of being raunchier than other sites and disliked by parents of the younger users.
  • Facebook

    Facebook was founded by Hardvard students Mark Zuckerberg, Eduardo Saverin, Dustin Moskovitz, and Chris Hughes in 2004. The site was originally created as a platform for Harvard students to connect and make groups. It, then, started allowing students from other universities to join before it became public. Facebook created many common social media elements like news feed, photo tagging, and groups. It is now the largest social network in the world.
  • Youtube

    Youtube was created by Jawed Karim, Steve Chen, and Chad Hurley in 2005. This was the first social media platform created solely for the purpose of sharing videos. It is now one of the most visited websites in internet history. Like many other social sites, the majority of their profits come from ad revenue. This created a whole new job opportunity for bloggers and gamers who realized they could make a living off of posting videos.
  • Myspace Troubles

    Myspace Troubles
    Out of public concern for the safety of users, Myspace had to delete profiles of registered sex offenders off of their site. They partnered with Sentinel Tech Holdings Corp. to create the first online database of registered sex offenders.
  • Twitter

    Twitter was created by Evan Williams and Biz Stone in 2006. Twitter was designed to be a free short message service with social media elements. Twitter introduced the idea of microblogging and "followers" who signed up to receive people's messages. Twitter quickly became a source for promoting events and news. It became a pivotal resource in communication during the 2008 Presidential election. Today, Twitter is a platform for celebrities, news outlets, politicians, athletes, and everyone else.
  • Google Acquires Youtube

    Google Acquires Youtube
    In 2006, Google bought Youtube for $1.65 billion. Google and Youtube are the top most visited sites on the internet. Google now owns more than 200 companies, including Android, Adsense, and Nest.
  • The iPhone

    The iPhone
    The first iPhone was created in an attempt to combine the functions of Apple's best-selling iPod with mobile phone capabilities. The first iPhone also had internet connections enabling desktop-class email, web browsing, searching, and maps. Now the iPhone is owned by almost 50% of Americans and is used around the world.
  • The Appstore

    The Appstore
    Apple wanted to not just create apps for the iPhone, but allow others to create apps that would be compatible with the phone and all of Apple's services. This opened up the idea for app developers and helped Apple synch its role as a dominant figure in the world of social networks.
  • Instagram

    Instagram was created by Stanford grads Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger. The app was designed to be a photo-sharing platform that had social network elements. On the day that it launched, Instagram became the top free photo-sharing app. The app did run into criticism when its terms of service allowed them to sell their users photos to third parties, but they retracted the terms. Now, people make instagram their job by posting pictures promoting products and places.
  • Snapchat

    Founders Evan Spiegel and Bobby Murphy wanted to create a photo messaging app where the photos eventually disappear. Snapchat was the end result of the evolution from their original app called Picaboo. Now, around 150 million people use snapchat everyday sending pictures, videos, messages, and video and voice calling. Snapchat also introduced the idea of "stories" where one could post a photo or video for 24 hours. Snapchat is now a source of news and entertainment with its "discover" feature.
  • TikTok

    TikTok, formally, is owed by Chinese company ByteDance who is named the world's most valuable startup. TikTok is different from other video-centric social apps because of its vast array of ready-to-use music and soundbites to dance and sing to. The algorithm produced by TikTok makes it hard for users to resist binge watching the 15 second long videos.
  • TikTok Trouble

    TikTok Trouble
    TikTok was fined by the Federal Trade Commission $5.7 million for illegally collecting the data of children under 13.