A Brief History of Social Media – How It All Started

Social media reaches as far back as the 1970’s. At that time, the first personal interaction over internet type systems was in Bulletin Board Systems (BBS). BBS was originally hosted on personal computers and users needed to gain access via the host computer’s modem. Access was limited to one person at a time. BBS was mostly used for illegal and illicit information sharing. This was the beginning of social media, even if it was at a snail’s pace. Soon to follow was Usenet. These had no dedicated server and were mostly news posts. Social networks today like Google Groups and Yahoo! Groups use many of the same set up as Usenet did.
Next came ‘online services’. These were the first corporate attempts to provide social networking. These included CompuServe, Prodigy, and Genie. These were mostly text only services but encompassed things like shopping, mail, games, and forums. Chat list of men’s rights and messaging systems were the next step toward social media. These included IM, IRC, and ICQ. IRC came on the scene in 1988 and was mostly for UNIX users. ICQ was similar but for PCs. Both of these were the basis upon which IM was developed.
Many consider dating sites to be the first real social media networks. As the internet became more accessible, dating sites were the first to connect people. These allowed users to create profiles and include pictures of themselves. Very similar to BBS of the 70s and 80s are forums. Like dating sites, these also advanced social media in current business law topics 2019 the late 90s. These were much more user friendly and didn’t require as much technical knowledge for use. Six Degrees was the first social forum which started up in 1997. On it users built profiles and could become friends with other users. They were used for professional, personal, and dating purposes. Forums are still in use today.
A few years later, LiveJournal launched and introduced the all new idea of live updates. Users posted in blog style which went live immediately. With the new millennium, advances in social networking were quick. Each new site brought a new and better idea to the social media scene. Names like Friendster, World of War Craft, MySpace, and Facebook all forwarded social media. It also came to be used for marketing. Internet advertising reached out into social media to reach a wider audience and employ an electronic word of mouth. It is an alternative to search engine optimization, but can also work with SEO to build social authority and increase search engine marketing and ratings.

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