How Did We Get Here? A History of the Internet and Social Networks

  • Advanced Research Projects Agency is Created in the United States

    This agency nurtured the development of the Internet and was the creator of the Arpanet, which was the basis for much of the web as we know it today
  • PLATO System is Created

    In later years will offer many features that are precursors to modern social media
  • Packet Switching is Developed

    Packet switching was one of the building blocks of the Internet, and allowed future innovators to build around the foundations ARPA set.
  • ARPANET is Developed

    ARPANET is Developed
    Created a network for idea exchange
  • Interface Message Processors (IMPs) are Built

    These were crucial hardware for sending and receiving bursts of data. The first IMP was connected to a server at UCLA, and has been described as “the first breath of the Internet”
  • CompuServe Offers True Interaction

    CompuServe Offers True Interaction
    CompuServe was a service that began its life as a business oriented mainframe computer communication solution. It offered true interaction to its users.
  • PLATO Begins Offering Features

    Offers notes feature, instant messenger, chat room, crowd-sourced media and more
  • Transmission Control Protocol Makes Connections

    TCP allowed for interconnected networks, which is the basis for the word Internet
  • Spam! The First Mass Message is Sent

    Spam! The First Mass Message is Sent
    The first spam message was sent into the Arpanet. It was and open invitation to product demos and was sent all throughout the net.
  • Electronic Bulletin Boards Gain Popularity

    Some examples are USENET, Community, and Memory. These allowed users to share information about events, ideas, etc. but were often limited by area.
    Most major cities had more than one BBS, which was run by certain personal computer models by people in the area. The Computer Bulletin Board System of Chicago was the first developed in 1978.
  • BBSs Move to the Internet

    BBSs Move to the Internet
    AOL was one of the first companies to move onto the Internet, creating some of the first community-centric instant messaging platforms, chat rooms, and message boards. BBSs were independently produced pieces of code that allowed users to communicate with a central system where people could download files or games and post messages to each other.
  • The Morris Worm Attacks the Internet

    The Morris Worm Attacks the Internet
    The first significant attack on the Internet was the Morris Worm, sent accidentally throughout the Internet by a Cornell student. Morris became the first person indicted under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.
  • BBSs Migrate to the Internet

    Compuserve, Prodigy, and AOL were three of the largest companies to migrate to the internet from being BBSs. The process worked as such: as the internet grew message forums moved online and became Internet forums, which could be accessed by more people at once than the original BBSs.
  • The World Wide Web is Introduced by CERN

    The World Wide Web is Introduced by CERN
    The World Wide Web was a vase document-linking structure that allowed for browsers. These browsers gave the ability to navigate the web and maneuver through text and images
  • Mosaic Makes the Internet Graphical

    Mosaic Makes the Internet Graphical
    Mosaic allowed users to access Internet services from a single graphical program
  • GeoCities is Developed

    One of the earliest social networking sites to gain popularity
  • Yahoo! Lets Users Search the Web

    Yahoo! Lets Users Search the Web
    Yahoo! Was one of the earliest search engines and web portals
  • Craigslist Connects

    Craigslist connected people in local areas (and sometimes beyond) with others that could help them trade and share goods and services
  • Classmates (Social Network) Gains Popularity

    Classmates (Social Network) Gains Popularity
    Was one of the first social networking sites, which offered a virtual class reunion
  • Netscape Dominates Browser Market

    Netscape Dominates Browser Market
  • Amazon Becomes and Internet Craze

    Amazon Becomes and Internet Craze
    Jeff Bezos created Amazon as an online bookstore. Today it was grown to be the world’s largest online retailer.
  • eBay Helps People Connect

    eBay Helps People Connect
    EBay began as an auction website to help people around the world connect and exchange goods.
  • Six Degrees Becomes Another Promising Social Networking Website

    Six Degrees Becomes Another Promising Social Networking Website
    Was one of the first social networks to offer the user the option to create a profile, invite friends, organize groups, and surf other user profiles.
  • Niche Demographic Markets Begin Popping Up

    1997 - AsianAvenue
    1999 - BlackPlanet
    2000 - MiGente
  • Open Diary Appears on the Web

  • LiveJournal Launches Online

  • Ryze Gains Popularity Online

  • ITunes Changes the Music Scene

    ITunes Changes the Music Scene
    Steve Jobs introduced iTunes to the world and revolutionized the way music is purchased and used.
  • Friendster Focuses on Connections

    Friendster was one of the earliest social networking sites that focused on connecting people with common interests, rather than people who already know each other.
  • LinkedIn Looks to Help Garner Professional Relationships

    LinkedIn, one of the earliest social networking sites that retains widespread popularity today, took networking to a new level. It offered professionals and pre-professionals opportunities to connect and develop relationships online.
  • MySpace Makes Its Arrival

    MySpace introduced a new style of social network, where you could express yourself fully. It used music, media, and trends to help its users create profiles that truly expressed their personal style.
  • Facebook Begins Its Long Lasting Phenomenon

    Facebook Begins Its Long Lasting Phenomenon
    Facebook offered users a place to express themselves openly and honestly. It is one of the most accessed social networks worldwide, and continues to innovate and influence social networking to this day.
  • Yahoo! Tries Its Hand at the Social Network Scene with 360

    Search engine Yahoo! Saw the success of other social networking sites and decided to join the party.
  • YouTube Revolutionizes Social Networking

    YouTube Revolutionizes Social Networking
    YouTube was one of the first media sites driven entirely by user-generated content.
  • Twitter is Introduced

    Twitter is Introduced
    Twitter, a social network still very active to this day, allowed users to “tweet” their thoughts and reactions - in 140 characters or less. It has become one of the largest and most influential social networks today.
  • Tumblr Brings Micro-Blogging to the Mainstream

    Tumblr was a social network where people, behind a username, could create their own aesthetic “blogs”, by creating and sharing original material in many forms, or re-blogging posts that they felt fit their persona.
  • Facebook Platform is Launched

    Facebook Platform is Launched
    Facebook Platform is an open API that allowed for third parties to create apps that could be used deliberately on Facebook or link their home sites with Facebook.
  • Instagram Launches Mobile Social Media Revolution

    Instagram Launches Mobile Social Media Revolution
    Instagram is one of the most popular social networks that exists almost entirely on mobile devices and is not designed for use on personal computers.
  • Google+ Sees Internet Giant Joining the Social Network Craze

    Google+ was search engine and general internet phenomenon Google’s attempt at a social network. While it brought interesting innovations such as Google Hangouts (which allowed users to video-chat with multiple people), it quickly became a background contender to Google’s other endeavors.
  • Twitter Purchases Vine

    Twitter Purchases Vine
    Vine was a video-looping app that quickly grew in popularity with short, funny video clips
  • Facebook Buys Instagram

  • Facebook Bids for Snapchat

    Facebook made an infamous failed bid to buy Snapchat, the photo app where pictures sent to users disappear after twenty-four hours.
  • Live Streaming Gains Popularity

    Live Streaming Gains Popularity
    Twitter buys Periscope after live-streaming app Meerkat is the talk of the town among techies. Facebook launched live video soon after.
  • Twitter Begins Live Streaming NFL Games

    Twitter Begins Live Streaming NFL Games