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The Birth of Social Media: A Look Back at its Earliest Days

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The Birth of Social Media: A Look Back at its Earliest Days

Social media has become an integral part of our daily lives, but few of us know its humble beginnings. It all started with a desire to connect with other people in a meaningful way. In this article, we’ll explore the birth of social media and its earliest days.

The Early Years

In the early 1990s, the concept of social media was nothing more than a few isolated cases of people using online platforms to connect with others. Platforms like AOL, Usenet, and IRC (Internet Relay Chat) were emerging, but the concept of social networking was not yet a reality.

It wasn’t until the launch of Six Degrees in 1997 that we can truly say social media was born. Six Degrees was a platform that allowed users to create a profile and connect with friends. Users could send messages, post comments, and build a network of contacts. This was the first time people could interact with each other online beyond anonymous chat rooms.

Moving forward, in the year 2000, LiveJournal was launched, and it introduced the concept of “blogging” with customizable personal web journals. At that time, blogging was a totally new concept, and it quickly became popular among the early internet community as a way to share stories and personal experiences in a way that was not possible before.

The Power of Networks

One crucial aspect of social media is its power to connect people from all around the world. The power to create networks and serendipitous connections has people enamored with social media, and it shows no signs of stopping.

The unveiling of Friendster in 2002 marked an incredible breakthrough in social media history. It was the first social networking platform that was not limited to only messaging, but also included social gaming and photo-sharing. Friendster hit 3 million members in August 2003 yet failed to keep up with its rapid growth and rising competition from rival platforms.

The Beginning of the Big Players

Facebook, the social networking giant that we know today with more than 2 billion active users, was launched in 2004. At first, the platform was available only to Harvard students, but it quickly expanded to other universities, then local communities, soon after it became available to the whole world. The explosive growth of Facebook came from its ease of use, clean design, and expansion of functionality with the migration of applications from other companies.

One year later, in 2005, YouTube was created, and it became the first video sharing platform. Youtube redefined the world of communication, and it was accessible to everyone without any cost of expensive equipment. It started a new era of video journalism, user-generated content, and opening the doors to the viral phenomenon that exploded online.

The Rise of Twitter:

The birth of Twitter happened in 2006, and it highlighted the use of short-form messaging. This platform quickly became popular due to its microblogging feature, which allowed a maximum of 280 characters per tweet. Twitter popularized the use of hashtags and tweet tagging (or @mentions) to draw people’s attention to specific topics or individuals. Through Twitter, social media personalization became more seamless and specific.


The evolution of social media has been an exciting journey. From the initial rise of Six Degrees and LiveJournal, to the birth of Facebook, Twitter, and beyond, the world of social media has come a long way. The emergence of social media as a powerful tool for personal and professional use has transformed society’s relationships by connecting us on a global scale. Nowadays, social media has become an integral part of life as more people harness it for communication, entertainment, education, and branding.


Q: What was the world’s first social network?
A: Six Degrees, launched in 1997, was the world’s first social networking site.

Q: When was Facebook launched?
A: Facebook was launched in 2004.

Q: What was the first video sharing platform?
A: YouTube was created in 2005 and became the first video sharing platform.

Q: Who created Twitter?
A: Twitter was created by Jack Dorsey, Evan Williams, Biz Stone, and Noah Glass.

Q: Why did social media become so popular?
A: Social media became popular because it allows people to connect globally, share interests and experiences, and interact in many different ways.

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