The History of Social Networking, Part One

the history of social networking 1
Doesn’t it seem rather crazy writing a ‘history of’ post about something that’s only been around for 17 years at the most, and popular in the last 7 or 8? Yet in that time it’s become so popular and is now a multi billion dollar industry worldwide.

I remember when I was little and my mum started using this site called “Friends Reunited” – now it’s recently just closed down, but I think that was the big one that started everything off. It was a place where you could connect with old school friends, finding them through certain networks. Nowadays, that’s really a lot of what we use Facebook for, however there’s a lot more that Facebook can do, but this really kickstarted the digital age of connecting online.

My first personal experience of social media (though I’m not too sure if you can class this as a social media site) was something called Stardoll. So it was aimed at girls and it was mainly to play dress-up on virtual dolls. At the time it was the best thing in the world, because alike a social network, you could connect with other people, see what their ‘doll’ was like and what clothes you owned, but there was no way of uploading photos, keeping with the fact that it was for children. You could however direct message people, as you can on Facebook.

Remember MySpace? I never had my own account because I was too young when the hype of it was around, but I remember looking on my dads profile and it looked cool, because if I remember rightly, you could have your favourite song playing when someone clicked onto your profile and you could change who was your “top” friends (as in at the top of the list).

It seemed to fade out after a couple years of the hype, and then in 2007, I remember the huge uprising of the one and only Facebook. I didn’t actually get a profile myself until 2008 when I started high school (even then I was too young, woops), and I used to add every single person from school, but it was a way of getting to know people from my new school, plus the archives of my Facebook make hilarious reading material when I get those Timehop notifications every morning! I know it gets a lot of stick, but when you think about it, Facebook is actually pretty good really.
There’s so much you can do with it; the messenger feature is probably one of the best. It never used to be brilliant when there was the separate Inbox and Chat features, but now it’s all integrated, and it has it’s own app, it’s fantastic, and it’s probably the only reason I use Facebook on a personal level.
That then brings me to the business side. I’ve written a couple other posts that have mention Facebook for Business, and it’s a really great one honestly! The thing that Facebook has over Twitter is the fact that posts can drift around on people’s timelines for days, whereas on Twitter it’s gone within a few seconds. Obviously this does depend on the amount of engagement on the post and the profile itself, but through promotion (that doesn’t really even cost that much), you can gain a substantial following and in turn, gain more customers or clients.

So for this post I’m going to leave it there, but I’m going to continue with Part Two on Monday, so please don’t forget to come back and read that too! (I didn’t want to overwhelm you all with a 1000 essay)



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