Tracing the Roots of Social Media Back to Friendster

The rise of social media has changed the way our society functions. It has become a part of our collective history. Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest are just a few social networks that have become popular within the last decade. Let’s trace the history of social media, shall we? The timeline below provides a general framework for the history of social media. Feel free to reference it.

Computer programmer Jonathan Abrams founded the social gaming site Friendster in 2002. During its glory days, the social networking site allowed users to network in virtual communities. The website was also used for dating, discovering new music, events and hobbies. The company is headquartered in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 90 percent of the 8.2 million users live in Asian countries.

Myspace founders Chris DeWolfe and Tom Anderson stole the show with their social networking service in 2003. For a few years it was the most visited social networking site in the world. Due to the emergence of Facebook in 2004, Myspace’s popularity declined significantly.

Foursquare, a location-based social networking website was created by Dennis Crowley and Naveen Salvadurai in 2009. Users “check in” at venues through a mobile website, text messaging or a device specific application. Two years later Foursquare reached 7 million users. Different aspects of this geo-location based social network include mayorship, badges, scoring, Superuser Status and Brands.

For those of you who have been living under a rock Facebook is a social networking site that was created by Mark Zuckerberg. After creating a profile, users are encouraged to share photos, videos and status updates with friends, acquaintances, co-workers and family members etc.. Facebook is a public company with more than 3,000 employees and around 845 million active users.

Ben Silberman launched Pinterest, a pinboard style social photo sharing website in March, 2010. This social service invites users to create and manage theme based photo collections. The site has become extremely popular among women. Pinterest is a great way to organize ideas for crafts, weddings, interior decoration etc…

#SXLB: Guy Kawasaki from Leo Burnett Worldwide on Vimeo.

Google launched Google Plus, a social networking website in 2011 to compete with Facebook. This service allows users to interact and share content with specific groups of friends more commonly known as circles. The site began on an invitation only basis, and eventually grew to 100 million active users.

I’ve only brushed the surface of the social networks that exist in cyberspace. Another social site could pop up tomorrow. What’s your favorite social site? Feel free to to share your opinion in the comments section.

Thumbnail Image Credit: pshab via Flickr

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