The History of Social Media ? Curious Answers To Simple Questions

Social Media

Before we describe how social networks emerged, we must clarify what is Web 2.0, since this is how we currently live, as the fastest way developed to connect us to the internet.

The term Web 2.0 was coined by an American Dale Dougherty of the O’Reilly Media publishing company during a conference in 2004.Social Media

Web 2.0 is what permits us as users to interact and collaborate with each other as creators of user-created content in a virtual community, unlike Web 1.0 which consists of static websites where users are limited to passive observation of the content that has been created for them.

Some of the clearest examples of Web 2.0 are web-based communities, web services, web applications, social networking services, video-hosting services, wikis, and blogs.

Social Networks History

The history of the social networks was given a means of communication by the computer, the precursors were: Usenet, ARPANET, bulletin board services (BBS),,,

The first virtual social network was called Six Degrees ( and emerged in 1997 and existed until 2001.   This site was developed by the company called Macroview.

In this way the social network was created as this: Web pages where every user has a public page which he/she publish content and communicate with others users.   Examples: Facebook, Twitter, Tuenti, Hi5, Myspace, Instagram, among others.

There also exist a great variety of professional social networks, managed to establish contacts within the business world (LinkedIn, Xing, eConozco, Neurona).

Facebook, Tuenti, Twitter, Myspace… are only some of the social networks that currently exist from the birth of the Web 2.0

The first social network emerged in 1997.   Its name was Degrees- and it was developed by Macro view company.   It offered the possibility of generating user profiles and friend lists.

Social Networks

Social networks emerged in 2003 as Hi5, Myspace, friendster or tribe.

By january 2004 was published Ourkut, it was an experiment that an employee used to do in his free time.   The same year Facebook was born, one of the large social networks most successful on the Internet.

In 2005, Yahoo 360º joined; in 2006 Twitter was established.

What are the principal characteristics that all the social networks share?

  • Construction of a profile that can be shared with other users.
  • Visualization of the connections that they have in common with other community members.
  • Creating related content with your own profile
  • Searching for users based on shared contacts, common interests, etc.
  • Control and configuration of privacy

Social network analysis

A social network is a structure composed of nodes and relationships between those nodes. Rather, it is a social structure (or an aspect of a social structure) that can be modeled through nodes and relationships.

Thus, when analyzing social networks, what is being done is an abstraction or model of a social phenomenon in which the fundamental element is the relationships between the participants.

Nodes are usually individuals or organizations of individuals. Relationships are of different types and depend on the type of network we are studying, from interpersonal relationships such as friendship relationships to formal relationships between companies, such as board member matches.

Social Network Analysis is the discipline that deals with the study, measurement, and research of social networks as we have defined them.

Historical review of social networks

1971: The first mail is sent. The two computers involved in the shipment were next to each other.

1978: BBS (Bulletin Board Systems) is exchanged over telephone lines with other users.

1978: The first copies of Internet browsers are distributed via the Usenet platform.

1994: GeoCities is founded, one of the first social networks on the Internet as we know it today. The idea was for users to create their own websites and to host them in certain neighbourhoods according to their content (Hollywood, Wallstreet, etc.).

1995: gives users the ability to customize their own online experiences by publishing their own content and interacting with others with similar interests.

1997: AOL Instant Messenger is launched.

1997: The website is inaugurated, allowing the creation of personal profiles and the listing of friends.

2000: The “internet bubble” burst.

2002: The Friendster portal is launched, pioneering the online connection of “real friends”. It reaches 3 million users in just three months.

2003: The MySpace website, originally conceived as a Friendster “clone”, is launched. Created by an online marketing company, its first version was coded in just 10 days.

2004: Facebook is launched, originally conceived as a platform to connect university students. It was launched at Harvard University and more than half of its 19,500 students signed up for it during its first month of operation.

2006: The microblogging network Twitter is inaugurated.

2008: Facebook overtakes MySpace as the leading social network in terms of unique monthly visitors.

2011: Facebook has 600 million users worldwide, MySpace 260 million, Twitter 190 million and Friendster just 90 million.

“Any capitalist wants a piece of the action.”

Social networking concepts are not new, and many of the initial Facebook components had originally been introduced by others.

Zuckerberg has been accused several times of stealing ideas to create Facebook, but in fact, his service is heir to ideas that have been developed for over forty years.

Something like Facebook was conceived by the engineers who laid the foundations of the Internet.

As early as 1968, an essay asked, “What will the interactive communities of the Internet look like? In most fields, they will consist of a number of geographically separated members, sometimes grouped into small clusters and sometimes be working individually.

They will be communities without the same location, but with a common interest. The article delved further into the concept of social networking when it stated: “You will not send a letter or telegram, you will simply identify the people whose files should be connected to yours.

As a key member of the Defense Department’s Advanced Research Projects Agency, Taylor helped conceive and fund what would later become ARPAnet, which in turn would run the Internet.

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