Timeline: a history of social networking sites

Since their introduction, social networking sites (SNS) have attracted millions of users, whereby many people integrate these sites into their daily practices. The conception of Googlebuzz.com has been recently introduced to rival the likes of facebook, which has 350 million users. Here is a timeline to show the progress of the social networking world. 

   

1995: Classmates.com is a social media website created by Randy Conrad. The website helps members find, connect and keep in touch with friends and acquaintances from school life. Classmates has more than 40 million active members in the US and Canada. In early 2008, Nielson Online ranked Classmates as number 3 in unique monthly visitors among social networking sites.

1997: Sixdegrees.com was named after the six degrees of separation concept and allowed users to list friends, family members and acquaintances and see their connection with any other user on the site. It was one of the first manifestations of a social networking websites in the format now seen today. Sixdegrees closed in 2007. At its height, the website had about a million users.

1999: Cyworld.com is a South Korean social networking service. Users can have “apartment like” spaces which makes for a sim-world like experience. The ‘cy’ in Cyworld could stand for Cyber, however, it also plays on the Korean word for relationship. A 2005 survey showed that 25% of South Korea were users.

2002: Friendster.com has over 115 million registered users and over 61 million unique visitors per global month. Over 90% of friendster’s traffic comes from Asia. The website is also used for dating, discovering new events, bands and hobbies.

2003: Myspace.com launched after eUniverse employees with Friendster saw its potential and mimicked the more popular features of the social networking site. Myspace became the most popular social networking site in US 2006. The 100th million account was created on August 9 2006.

2005: Bebo.com is an acronym for “blog early, blog often”. It is similar to other networking sites; the site must include two specific modules, a comment section and a list of users’ friends. The site claims 40 million users.

2006: Facebook.com is the most popular social networking site boasting 350 million users. It was founded by Mark Zuckerberg who studied at Harvard University. The websites membership was initially limited by the founders to Harvard students, but was expanded to other colleges. Facebook has met with some controversy being blocked in countries such as, China, Syria and Iran. The original concept for Facebook came from the colloquial name for books given out at the start of the academic year by universities designed to help students get to know one another better.

2006: Twitter.com is a social networking site that that enables its users to send and read messages known as “tweets”. Tweets are text based posts of up to 140 characters displayed on the authors profile page and are delivered to the author’s subscribers known as followers. It is sometimes described as the “SMS of the internet” and is widely popular with about 5 million users.

2010: Google.com/buzz is the newest social networking site designed to integrate the googles web-based program, G-mail. Shared links and messages show up in the user’s inbox. Buzz focuses on integrating photos, videos and links as part of the “conversations” aspects of G-mail like conversation threading.

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8 responses to “Timeline: a history of social networking sites

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