There was once a time when social media was simply the art of talking at people. However, over the years, being on social media has grown into something new and taken on a completely different meaning. Not only is social media completely different than just talking, but businesses can now take advantage of it to use as a form of marketing and connecting with customers.
Lets take a look at the evolution timeline of social media
1992 - Tripod opened as a community online, geared for college students and young adults.
1993- CERN donated World Wide Web technology to the world and more than 200 web servers went online.
1994 - Geocities was launched and allowed users to create their own websites. The community of geocities crossed the 1 million member mark in 1997 and it would have over 38 million by the time it shut down for users in the United states in 2009. Earthlink also started as an online service provider in this year.
1997 - The web hit one million websites and blogging began. AOL instant messenger launched to allow users to chat easily with one another.
1998 - Google opened as a search engine.
1999 - Friends Reunited is considered the first online social network that gets noticed and that is remembered. It was focused in Great Britain to reunite old school friends.
2000 - The dot.com bubble bursts and things seemed bleak for the internet community as a whole. There were over seventy million computers connected to the internet.
2001 - Wikipedia launched as the free online encyclopedia, and Apple began selling iPods.
2002 - AOL had over 34 million members and Friendster launched as a social networking website, gathering over 3 million members in a matter of months.
2003 - Myspace was launched and became a hit, while other networking sites such as Linden Labs second life and LinkedIn began.
2004 - Harvard College students started Facebook, and the image hosting site Flickr was started.
2005 - Bebo, which stands for "Blog Early, Blog Often" was started as a networking site. Youtube began storing videos.
2006 - This was the year Myspace was the most popular networking site in the United States, but Facebook was gaining ground. Meanwhile, Twitter launched its microblogging social network.
2007 - Facebook launched their beacon advertising system.
2008 - Facebook passed Myspace in the total number of monthly unique visitors, and they tried but failed to purchase Twitter.
2009 - Facebook was listed as the most used social networking site, while Twitter broke the news of a plane down in the Hudson.
2010 - Google launched Buzz to compete with Facebook and Twitter.
2011 - Social media was accessed from almost anywhere in the world and on the go. It became a major part of daily life for most people. There were 550 Million users on Facebook and 65 million daily tweets sent on Twitter.
2012 - Facebook reached 1 billion users and Youtube had attracted more than 800 million monthly users.
2013 - 1 billion monthly users for Youtube with over 4 billion views per day, while Facebook had 1.1 billion users and Twitter had 500 million registered users. Other formats such as Pinterest had 48.7 million users and Reddit had 69.9 million.
As you can clearly see in the short overview, social media changes but continues to grow every year. Social media is a powerhouse that shows no signs of slowing down in the near future. Social media has become a must for every business to make their brand visible.
While it keeps things simple to only utilize one platform for social media, it is imperative to reach the most potential connections and to do that, you need a full social media presence. The brands who seem to do best in the social media marketing forum have a presence on at least Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest. Additionally, Youtube is a great place to show users how they can use your products or other creative tutorial videos. If your business does not have a social media presence, it is time to design a strategy and begin the process.
For more information on how to best use social media platforms, download our free social media checklist by clicking the link below: