Social Media Over the Last Decade [Plus 2 Infographics]

Guest column by Carly Fierro, a social media obsessed freelance writer. Follow her on Twitter.


A History of Social MediaIn 2003, social media skyrocketed into popularity with the launch of MySpace. Since then, social media has seen explosive growth with Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and more. With the subsequent rise of mobile computing on devices such as tablet computers and mobile phones, every year brings new and exciting enhancements, breakthroughs and modifications.

Here is a look back at the major social media developments of the past 10 years.

2003

It all began with MySpace. It took three years before MySpace was the biggest social network in the world.

LinkedIn was also founded in 2003 and was the first business-related social media site allowing everyone from manufacturers of adjustable height tables to independent contractors to CEOs and those looking for work to network more easily online.

Photobucket, the first photo sharing site, was launched the same year.

2004

Facebook was in its infancy as a Harvard social network.

Social bookmarking sites also started in 2004, including Digg, which was the first major site of this nature.

2005

This was the year of online streaming and video hosting with the launch of YouTube. In the past 7 years, many video hosting sites have been released and used though none have managed to surpass the popularity of YouTube.

Social bookmarking sites continued gaining popularity with the launch of Reddit.

2006

MySpace officially became the biggest social media site in the world and introduced instant messenger along with other features.

Facebook also became available for everyone in 2006. That same year, Twitter was founded and would soon surpass most other social media networks as the microblogging platform of choice.

2007

MySpace remained popular and Facebook was quickly moving up the ladder.

Tumblr reached 170,000 users within its first year of operation.

2008

Facebook surpassed MySpace to become the most popular, a title it still holds in 2013. But 2008 and 2009 marked the years when many users deleted their MySpace accounts to dedicate all their time to Facebook and Twitter.

2009

The only new major development was the release of the Amazon Kindle which started the rise of e-reading. The Kindle is still the most popular e-reader on the market.

2010

Social media moved on to location-based updates on places like Facebook, Foursquare, Yelp and Gowalla.

It is also the year when social couponing became popular with the release of Groupon and Living Social. That same year, smart phones became the most popular mobile device and Instagram was released.

2011

Social media continued to dominate the Internet landscape as businesses and individuals tried to figure out how to harness its incredible potential. Existing social media sites continued to soar, including Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram, and by the end of 2011, Pinterest was released with more than a million users.

2012

Social media companies ramped up their efforts to become more mobile-friendly. The meteoric rise of the tablet computer, including models that seriously compete with Apple’s iPad, make mobile applications a must instead of a lust for every company.

2013

What do you predict we’ll see more of and less of in 2013? Please comment.


Infographic #1: A History of Social Media

 


Infographic #2: Social Media Winners and Losers in 2012

  • What a fun history lesson! I’ve seen an infograph suggesting that Facebook is destined to fall from favor; according to the statistics, social networks appear to last only so long. But, despite statistics, I’ll wager that Facebook will flourish- it is a fun way to stay connected. As for Google+, I haven’t gotten the hang (or habit) of it yet, but I wonder if it will have an advantage, with the rise of smart android phones (and all the apps connected with Google).

    I predict that Classmates .com will have to do something different to survive- so far, it just seems annoying. But I think Pinterest will stay popular. Modern society has a pretty short attention span, it seems, but most of us can glance over a few pictures real quick to see if anything proves interesting. (A picture’s worth a thousand words, and we don’t have time for that many words anymore, right?)

    That’s my thoughts on what I think we may see more (or less of) this year!

  • What a fun history lesson! I’ve seen an infograph suggesting that Facebook is destined to fall from favor; according to the statistics, social networks appear to last only so long. But, despite statistics, I’ll wager that Facebook will flourish- it is a fun way to stay connected. As for Google+, I haven’t gotten the hang (or habit) of it yet, but I wonder if it will have an advantage, with the rise of smart android phones (and all the apps connected with Google).

    I predict that Classmates .com will have to do something different to survive- so far, it just seems annoying. But I think Pinterest will stay popular. Modern society has a pretty short attention span, it seems, but most of us can glance over a few pictures real quick to see if anything proves interesting. (A picture’s worth a thousand words, and we don’t have time for that many words anymore, right?)

    That’s my thoughts on what I think we may see more (or less of) this year!

  • Jennifer – I think I’ve seen that same infographic. The typical lifespan of a social network is 9 years, but it appears Facebook will last past the end of 2013, unless the world comes to an end first!

    I am just starting to use Google+. My target customer doesn’t hang out there, so I don’t put much effort into it other than having a complete profile and page. Good point about the apps — that definitely gives Google a huge advantage in the marketplace. I love their products.

    Classmates… haven’t used that in several years, nor have I heard anything from them lately.

    Love PInterest. I do hope it stays in business for a very long time. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and predictions.

  • Jennifer – I think I’ve seen that same infographic. The typical lifespan of a social network is 9 years, but it appears Facebook will last past the end of 2013, unless the world comes to an end first!

    I am just starting to use Google+. My target customer doesn’t hang out there, so I don’t put much effort into it other than having a complete profile and page. Good point about the apps — that definitely gives Google a huge advantage in the marketplace. I love their products.

    Classmates… haven’t used that in several years, nor have I heard anything from them lately.

    Love PInterest. I do hope it stays in business for a very long time. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and predictions.

  • Laura, you’re my hero- you’ve figured out your target customer! I’m hoping mine is NOT on Google+, since I don’t LUV hanging out there, haha…

  • Laura, you’re my hero- you’ve figured out your target customer! I’m hoping mine is NOT on Google+, since I don’t LUV hanging out there, haha…