Social Media Highlights

  • SixDegrees.com

    The site amassed around one million users before it was bought out for $125 million …and shuttered in 2000, though it later made a modest comeback and still subsists today.
  • AmIHOTorNot.com

    Site that invited users to submit photos of themselves so others could rate their attractiveness. The site is rumored to have influenced the creators of Facebook and YouTube—and nurtured millions of insecurities. After being sold off a few times, its new owners tried to revive it as a “game” in 2014.
  • Friendster

    Launched in 2002, Friendster was originally going to be a dating site that would help set up people with friends in common. You could create a profile, include “status updates” and reveal your mood. Messaging “friends of friends of friends” was also a thing.
  • Myspace

    Myspace , the Friendster rival that quickly became the go-to site for millions of hip teens. Its customizable public profiles (which often featured music, videos and badly shot, half-nude selfies) were visible to anyone, and were a welcome contrast to Friendster’s private profiles which were available only to registered users.
  • Facebook

    It was founded by Mark Zuckerberg and Dmy Lin and fellow Harvard University students. The website's membership was initially limited by the founders to Harvard students, but was expanded to other colleges in the Boston area, the Ivy League, and gradually most universities in the United States and Canada, corporations, and by September 2006, to everyone with a valid email address along with an age requirement of being 13 and older.
  • Twitter

    Despite its 2004 birth date, 2006 was arguably the year Facebook truly took flight: it opened registration to everyone and went from an exclusive Harvard-only club to a global network.Dorsey originally envisioned twttr as a text message-based tool for sending updates between friends. Apparently in the early stages of its development the twttr team racked up some steep SMS bills.
  • LinkedIn

    LinkedIn—once known as “Myspace for adults”—was the first to offer users paid premium packages. Its Jobs and Subscriptions area, the site’s first premium business line, helped bring in revenue in the early days.
  • YouTube

    Through YouTube’s elephantine beginnings, its official launch in December 2005. Then, things escalated quickly: ahead of its acquisition by Google in the fall of 2006, the site grew to 100 million videos being watched by 20 million dedicated users. In May 2007, YouTube introduced its partnership program, which has been key for the site. A partnership between YouTube and its popular content creators. YouTube provides the platform and creators provide the content.
  • Tumblr

    In 2007 the social network described as “Twitter meets YouTube and WordPress” came a-tumblin’ along. 17-year-old David Karp launched Tumblr from his bedroom in his mother’s New York apartment. The site allowed users to curate pictures, videos and text and “reblog” their friends on their “tumblelogs.”
  • Grindr

    Grindr, on the scene in 2009, was the first geosocial networking app for dating geared towards gay and bisexual men, helping them meet other men nearby. For better or worse, it revolutionized hookup culture for gay men, and paved the way for many others like Scruff, Jack’d, Hornet, Chappy, and Growlr.
  • WhatsApp

    WhatsApp Messenger, or simply WhatsApp, is an American freeware, cross-platform centralized instant messaging and voice-over-IP service owned by Facebook, Inc. It allows users to send text messages and voice messages, make voice and video calls, and share images, documents, user locations, and other content.
  • Instagram

    nstagram is a popular photo-sharing app that lets you connect with brands, celebrities, thought leaders, friends, family, and more.
  • Snapchat

    Launching almost exactly a year after Instagram, soon-to-be rival “Picaboo” launched …and then quickly rebranded to Snapchat following a lawsuit by a photobook company with the same name. (Probably for the best.) The app’s early success tapped into the ephemeral nature of life’s moments, allowing users to post content that would vanish after 24 hours.
  • GooglePlus

    Google attempted to roll out another answer to Facebook and Twitter—following previous failed attempts like Google Buzz and Orkut. Google+ or Google Plus began with an invitation-only system in 2011. That summer, new users got access to 150 invitations they could send out before the site’s official opening in September. Demand was so high that Google eventually had to suspend them.
  • Tinder

    Tinder is an American geosocial networking and online dating application that allows users to anonymously swipe to like or dislike other users' posted profiles, which generally comprise their photo, a short bio, and a list of their personal interests. Once two users have "matched", they can exchange messages.
  • Facebook. LIVE

    Facebook was slow to slide into the live stream game, first rolling out live streaming features on its platform in 2016. But the company has worked to ensure its success in the space with extra resources and partnerships with mainstream media like Buzzfeed, the Guardian and the New York Times.
  • Instagram STORIES

    Taking a page from Snapchat’s playbook, Instagram introduced “Stories” allowing users to post photo and video sequences that disappear within 24 hours (although they can now be saved and archived). Filters, stickers, polls, hashtags, and highlights to enhance Stories have succeeded in making the app even more addictive, as if that was even possible.
  • TikTok

    TikTok, known in China as Douyin, is a video-sharing focused social networking service owned by Chinese company ByteDance. The social media platform is used to make a variety of short-form videos, from genres like dance, comedy, and education, that have a duration from fifteen seconds to three minutes.
  • Twitter DOUBLES

    In an effort to attract more users, Twitter doubled its signature character limit from 140 to 280 characters. The move was widely panned by more than a few users.
  • IGTV

    If you thought Boomerang was the only video app Instagram had up its sleeve you would be wrong. Instagram is now ready to compete with YouTube: the company increased its one-minute video limit to one-hour and launched a whole new app, IGTV, dedicated to long-form video.