Human beings are social creatures. One of the things that helped humanity evolve was the development of language. Language allows us to express ourselves, to build relationships, and to shape the world around us.
In recent times the world has indeed been transformed. Thirty years ago, the IT industry was virtually non-existent. Today IT and social media jobs form a significant part of the available employment opportunities in the service industry.
Seeds Of Social Media
When we are near other people, communicating using the internet or text rarely happens because we can talk to each other face to face. As people began moving farther away from each other, did the need to develop a means of communication evolve.
The Native Americans were once a leader in the field of long-distance communication. By using smoke signals, neighboring tribes were able to communicate with one another. With the development of writing, people could communicate their thoughts and ideas, and have them transported over greater distances.
The telegraph was invented in 1792, and it was a game-changer. Messages were delivered over long-distances in an instant. With the invention of the telephone and the radio 100 years later, it became possible to communicate over longer distances more efficiently. Conversations in real-time were now possible.
The 20th Century
The creation of supercomputers in 1940 lay the groundwork for social media as we know it today. From that point in time, technology began to develop rapidly. Means were created to develop networks between supercomputers, and this led to the creation of the internet.
CompuServe was created in 1969, and it was the grandfather of the internet. Simplistic versions of e-mail were also developed in this period. During the 1970s, networking technology was improved. Usenet made communication through a virtual newsletter possible.
The stage for modern communication was set with the development of personal computers in the 1980s and 1990s. Internet relay chats became famous in 1988 and continued to be used well into the 1990s.
Six Degrees is recognized as the first social media site. It was established in 1997 and allowed users to make friends with other users and to upload a profile.
Modern Social Media
Friendster was created in 2002. It competed with Six Degrees. People could also share videos, photos, and messages with other users. At its peak, it had 100 million users.
LinkedIn was formed in December 2002. The site focused on professional networking and still do so today. LinkedIn has 575 million users today and ranks at number 285 of the most visited websites.
MySpace was established in 2003. It quickly became the most popular networking platform site of that period. In 2006 it passed Google as the most visited website in the world.
Facebook was founded in 2004. Facebook grew quickly and surpassed MySpace in 2008 as the most visited site online. Today it has 2.3 billion active users. To put that number in perspective, Earth’s population is around 7.5 billion.
In the modern world of online communication, the only constant is change. Today Facebook is the most dominant player in terms of online networking. However, within the next three to five years, it wouldn’t surprise anyone if Instagram became more popular than Facebook.