Frankly speaking, Social Media is not a new concept at all. People were in one way or the other interacting with each other via the ‘social media’. What has really happened in last decade is that there has been an explosion in the social media scenario, with the likes of MySpace, Facebook, Twitter entering the scene and its commercial exploitation.
Let’s take a look at the evolution of Social Media:
The Phone-centric Era [1950-early 90s]
It all started with development of telephone network. In 1950s there were telephone maniacs all over the world who began using own devices and simple tricks for making free calls.
These freaks even used to hack unused voice mailboxes of corporate numbers and invented the first blog ever by this.
The Bulletin Board or BBS [1979- 1995]
Ward Christensen developed the BBS in which one person could make call at a time by using little servers supported by PCs and connected with modem. This transformed and enriched social appeal of telephonic messages.
Commercial Web Services [1979- 2001]
First efforts to commercialize social media came from Prodigy and Compuserve. They provide safe home based social media opportunities to the mass. Popularity of this mass scale concept increased gradually with time.
The World Wide Web [1991-Till Now]
With open availability of the World Wide Web in 1991, numerous ISPs changed the face of social media. A number of interactive social media forums started to develop one after another.
Emails: A whole chapter begins with introduction of email service. It made communication easier and less time taking.
There were days when people have to wait for months to get postal letters but the concept of electronic mail ended that. People start feeling more connected with each other. Physical boundaries erased out in a fresh way. The popular web based emailing service includes Yahoo!, Gmail, Hotmail and AOL.
Instant Messengers: People began to share their instant updates using instant messengers and IRC and ICQ.
The discussion will remain incomplete without mention of voice and video calling. Their relevance increased with ever changing pattern of global communication. Frankly speaking, introduction of Skype and other live messengers changed human idea about communication.
This tool transformed the face of short messaging service. After being introduced in 1950s in the US, pagers were used as the most preferred telecommunication short messaging tool till the mobiles phones arrived in 90s. However, today pagers are used only for ‘critical messaging’ purposes.
I know that you were waiting for this. The first generation mobile phones used to remind us the crude weapons of the early Stone Age.
But now look at it. It became out external life support system. As they say, ‘take the world in your palms’, that’s the reality of mobile communication. Nowadays, it regularly impresses us with its looks and features.
The Mobile Phone SMS Era During the evolution of short messaging service, the most critical discovery is perhaps the mobile SMS itself. Do I need to say anything more about it? I think the name says it all. None can deny that our habits and likings as mortal creatures changed due to SMS. It makes us feel complete.
Social Networking Websites
Social networking sites like SixDegrees, FaceBook, and MySpace etc, got momentum gradually when people started to spend more time, than they used to spend at home talking to others.
Let me introduced you with of popular social networking sites:
- Six Degrees: The first modern social networking site was launched in 1997. The site enables members to socialize by opening profiles in it. It used to be really popular and at one time it had millions member across the globe.
Later, in 2001 the site was closed down!
It’s also a popular social networking site that allows people to become friends from all over the world.
- FaceBook: Currently the most popular social networking website among users. Initially FaceBook was introduced in limited areas in 2004 but later it was made open for all in 2006. It have more than 500 Million Users all around the world.
This is perhaps the fastest growing social networking site ever!
- Twitter: After its advent in 2006, Twitter has made real-time updating a norm for all. You’ll get 140 Characters to share what you got!
Twitter gives its user a better platform to socialize. Today, everybody tweets every time.
- YouTube: YouTube was launched in 2006 as the first major video sharing and hosting website. It properly categories videos and has options for publish ratings and comments for each uploaded video.
Believe me it’s incredibly popular and liked all around the globe. Blogging: This is the most modern method to express yourself. It’s the right way to move ahead. There are personal and professional bloggers who use various tools to write blog posts. This really works fast.
So moral of the story is, technology has changed the mode of social communication on many occasions with new discoveries. However, our thirst to stay connected will never be completely fulfilled. So we are still looking to invent new tools for better communication.
Apple iPhone changed it forever! Now networking started happening even out-of-home! But in this development – have humans started missing out on the personal interaction and networking? What do you think!?