While making distances inconsequential, all through 2010s, social media made ideas to trend and movements to break the internet all while navigating through different cultures, peoples and individual lives.
Every year June 30 is celebrated as World Social Media Day to highlight how it has emerged as a key tool for communication. From connecting people from all corners of the world to helping influencers grow their brand and assisting journalists to cover important news events, social media has become a game changer. It has made it possible to connect people from every corner of the world and bring them just a click apart.
As social media has grown in popularity, so has the scrutiny that the platforms come under. With controversies surrounding their use of data, impact on mental health, hate speech, election results and fake news, the social media platforms are under more pressure to be transparent with what goes on behind the scenes.
History of Social Media Day
World Social Media Day was first celebrated by Mashable on June 30, 2010 to focus on the impact of social media and its role in global communication. Mashable is known to use social media to connect various cultures, movements, and fandoms. The first social media platform--Sixdegrees was launched in 1997 and was founded by Andrew Weinreich. The website permitted users to list their friends and family members and had various interesting features like bulletin boards, school affiliations and profiles.
With the launch of Friendster in 2002 and MySpace in 2003, social media became mainstream. Then 2004 brought the founding of the king of social media, Facebook. Twitter encouraged us to be succinct by posting our thoughts with fewer than 140 characters. When we express ourselves better through imagery, Instagram, and Flickr offer all the sharing we can handle. And speaking of video, YouTube is the social place for everything from how-to to pop culture to what not to do with your fireworks on the 4th of July.
Social media makes it possible to stay connected and informed about those important people in our lives. Reconnecting with classmates, past work associates, and more is also a valuable part of social media. It has also made it possible to connect with ancestors and find relatives you never even knew existed. Yes, the family tree has become a social media platform as well. MyHeritage.com, Ancestry.com, and many others all supply a social platform where distant family members potentially meet and build their family trees.
History of Social Media
In less than a generation, social media has evolved from direct electronic information exchange, to virtual gathering place, to retail platform, to vital 21st-century marketing tool.
How did it begin? How has social media affected the lives of billions of people? How have businesses adapted to the digital consumer lifestyle? How do marketing professionals use social media? It’s all part of the story of social media’s ongoing evolution.
In the 1980s and ’90s, according to “The History of Social Networking” on the technology news site Digital Trends, the internet’s growth enabled the introduction of online communication services such as CompuServe, America Online, and Prodigy. They introduced users to digital communication through email, bulletin board messaging, and real-time online chatting.
This gave rise to the earliest social media networks, beginning with the short-lived Six Degrees profile uploading service in 1997.
This service was followed in 2001 by Friendster. These rudimentary platforms attracted millions of users and enabled email address registration and basic online networking.
Weblogs, or blogs, another early form of digital social communication, began to gain popularity with the 1999 launch of the LiveJournal publishing site. This coincided with the launch of the Blogger publishing platform by the tech company Pyra Labs, which was purchased by Google in 2003.
In 2002, LinkedIn was founded as a networking site for career-minded professionals. By 2020, it had grown to more than 675 million users worldwide. It remains the social media site of choice for job seekers as well as human resources managers searching for qualified candidates.
Two other major forays into social media collapsed after a burst of initial success. In 2003, Myspace launched. By 2006, it was the most visited website on the planet, spurred by users’ ability to share new music directly on their profile pages.
By 2008, it was eclipsed by Facebook. In 2011, Myspace was purchased by musician Justin Timberlake for $35 million, but it has since become a social media afterthought.
Google’s attempt to elbow its way into the social media landscape, Google+, launched in 2012. A rocky existence came to an end in 2018, after the private information of nearly 500,000 Google+ users was compromised by a data security breach.
Today’s social media landscape is populated by a suite of services that jockey for the attention of more than 5 billion mobile device users worldwide. Here is an overview of the most prominent social media networks of 2020:
Launched in 2004 by Harvard student Mark Zuckerberg, it has nearly 1.7 billion users — including 69% of U.S. adults, according to Pew Research.
Launched in 2005 by Massachusetts 20-somethings Steve Huffman and Alexis Ohanian as a news-sharing platform, its 300 million users have transformed Reddit into a combination news aggregation/social commentary site. Its popularity is based on the ability to “up-vote” and “down-vote” user posts.
Founded in 2006 by Jack Dorsey, Evan Williams, Biz Stone, and others as a microblogging site, by 2020, 22% of U.S. adults were Twitter users, according to Pew Research.
Founded in 2010 by Stanford graduate Kevin Systrom as a photo-sharing site and purchased by Facebook in 2012, Instagram has more than 1 billion users worldwide.
Founded in 2010 by iPhone app developer Ben Silbermann as a visual “pin board,” Pinterest became a publicly traded company in 2019 and has more than 335 million active monthly users.
Founded in 2011 by a trio of Stanford students — Evan Spiegel, Reggie Brown, and Bobby Murphy — this video-sharing service introduced the concept of “stories,” or serialized short videos, and “filters,” run for informative digital effects, often based on location.
Founded in 2016 by Chinese tech company ByteDance, this short-form video-sharing site was merged with the U.S.-based mobile app Musical.ly in 2018 and became popular with American teens and young adults. As of early 2020, it had more than 800 million users worldwide.
Significance of Social Media Day
- Social Media Day is celebrated across the world to highlight the importance of social media platforms and how they have impacted our day to lives.
- One can connect with a person sitting thousands of miles away on a messaging service app.
- It helps people with building relationships and connecting with customers to promote and advertise brands.
- Social media helps people to understand and communicate in an enhanced way.
How to celebrate Social Media Day
So how best to celebrate Social Media Day? The answer is obvious! Let your networks know and spread the knowledge. Start a hashtag, upload a photo, update your status. You certainly won’t be alone as social media is still spreading like wildfire all over the world. Whatever you do, wherever you are, don’t forget to celebrate #socialmediaday!
Another way to celebrate Social Media Day is to try out some new platforms. There are many different platforms out there that are simply waiting to be discovered. TikTok has taken over in recent times. If you are yet to make a TikTok video, now is the perfect opportunity for you to do so! You may think that you have tried all of the social media platforms out there, but there are literally hundreds of them, and so there are bound to be plenty that you have not explored yet. Give them a try. You never know; you may end up with a new favourite!
You could also celebrate Social Media Day by trying to create a post that goes viral. A lot of people have created videos and social media posts that have gone viral without them even intending to do so. If you want to be social media famous, see if you can come up with some creative and exciting ideas for this day.