The Evolution of Social Media

I believe it is important to analyse the origins of social media, so that we can see it’s potential in the coming years, and retrieve an educated idea as to how this will effect us as people, as consumers, as digital marketers and more!

Social media has developed profoundly, since its arrival in the 1970’s, with the creation of Bulletin Board Systems, which enabled users to post messages, and download games.Subsequent to the formation of these systems, more advanced networks, such as Facebook, have been produced, allowing users to ‘direct message’ one another, and access the local, and national news, based on users personal preferences.

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The way in which social media is now being utilised, and the reaons as to why, and how people use it are continually evolving.

The first ‘official’ social network, was established in
1997 – named six degrees.This network enabled users to compose a profile, and communicate with friends and family, across the globe.
Consequent to this, sites like Friendster, Hi5 and LinkedIn were founded, all with a plethora of diverse
features, such as : the option to add friends’ of friends’, post résumés, along with displaying suggestions to add users, with similar interests.

Following on from this, the social media ‘world’ advanced hugely, with the construction of sites like My Space,Youtube,Facebook and Photo bucket,which facilitated users with the tools, to allow them to share videos, personalise their profiles, and share content .By 2006, twelve million people were already signed up to Facebook.

Since 2006, more social networks have been created.These networks, have allowed users to engage in various ways, that hasn’t been seen previously.The fundamental ones, being Instagram (2010) and Snapchat (2011) these platforms have been designed for users to access, via applications on smartphones.

Nine years on from 2006, social media is still evolving, and nearly one in four people,now use it on a regular basis.Furthermore, there has been a myriad of features, added and updated on networking sites,in order for them to compete with other social media.

From the time social media started, its purposes and uses have changed drastically, from being a tool that people used for communication with their acquaintances, social media platforms are now used for an abundance of reasons; to advertise products, brands, and business, to distribute the news, and to allow key individuals in society (celebrities,politicians,artists) to engage with others on a regular, and more personal basis.

Although social media is still used for communication , as it was back in the days of the Bulletin Board Systems, now people are able to correspond with others, on a much larger and flexible scale.Additionally, people are now able to converse through an array of different forms, as now you can access social media, and the internet through smartphones,tablets, game consoles as well as traditional home computers.

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