Social Media history can be traced back to the year 1840 -when the introduction of Telegraph (transmission of text messages using symbolic codes) network slowly and gradually connected the entire world. Then in the year 1960 PLATO (Programmed Logic for Automatic Teaching Operations), the first generalised computer instruction system was invented——the PLATO was first run on Illinois Automatic Computers ILLIAC of The University of Illinois. Today, many modern multi-user access computing like: forums, online testing, e-mail, instant messaging, or even remote screen sharing or multi-player video gaming concepts are built based on this PLATO system.
Talkmatic – possibly the first online chat-room that facilitates the content owner to restrict access to certain set of people and share news report, newspaper, or a blog online. Then ARPANET (Advanced Research Projects Agency Network) the TCP/IP protocol based packet-switching wide-area-network WAN was established by the United States Department of Defense. These technologies became the technical foundation of today’s INTERNET.
Yahoo! GeoCities, the popular web hosting service started in November 1994, David Bohnett and John Renzer named it as ‘Beverly Hills Internet’, then it was renamed as ‘GeoCities’——Yahoo acquired GeoSites on 28th January, 1999 – in those days, GeoCities was third-most visited site on World Wide Web (www). Then Classmates was found in December 1995, and then SixDegree in May 1997. According to CBS news, SixDegrees is considered to be the first social media site launched in the year 1997———SixDegree offered users to create friends – family, and acquaintance list and facilitated exchange of email, updates and socialisation. Open Diary launched in October 1998 — then LiveJournal in April 1999 followed by Ryze in October 2001, and then Friendster in March 2003 ——— LinkedIn, the corporate job hub launched in May 2003, hi5 -June 2003, MySpace by August 2003 ——— back-to-back in January and February of the year 2004, Orkut and Facebook was launched respectively —— YouTube was launched in February 2005 and in March 2005 Yahoo! 360° —— Bebo in July 2005 ——— the micro-blogging site twitter with its limit of tweeting 140 characters message was launched in July, 2006 – Tumblr in February 2007, Instagram in July 2010, and Google+ in July 2011 was launched.
According to Merriam-Webster, Inc. (an American reference book publishing company mainly known for its dictionaries), all the ‘forms of electronic communication (such as websites for social networking and microblogging) through which users create online communities to share information, ideas, personal messages, and other content (such as videos)’, are described as Social Media. There are 13 Social Media types, and broadly classification are: Blogs; Business Networks; Collaborative Projects; Enterprise Social Networking; Forum; Micro-Blogging; Photo Sharing; Product or Service Review; Social Book-Marking; Social Gaming; Social Networking; Video Sharing; and the Virtual World.
Today while this is being written in 2020, according to Statista (popular German company known for its expertise in market and consumer data), it is estimated that around the globe there are over 3.6 billion Social Media users——the number of its users is expected to rise to 4.41 billion by 2025. Further, according to Statista, Facebook with 2,701 million; YouTube with 2,000 millions; WhatsApp with 2,000 millions; Facebook Messenger 1,300 millions user base are ranked top four most popular social networking services, here Instagram with its 1158 millions users base is ranked sixth in row.