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Brief History of Email & Social Media
The first email was sent by computer engineer Ray Tomlinson to himself in 1971, using the "@" sign to separate the names of the user and the user's machine.
The email was sent from one computer to another computer sitting next to it in Cambridge, Massachusetts, via ARPANET, a network of computers that was the precursor to the Internet. Tomlinson's work was adopted across the ARPANET, which significantly increased network traffic. He is credited with initiating the incredible new era of communication that we now enjoy.
Social Media as we know it basically came to be in early 21st century.
1997: The world’s first social networking site: “Six Degrees” is born. Remember them? Neither do I.
2001: Six Degrees shuts down forever. Wait, who?
December 2002: Linkedin is born. The world’s headhunters and hiring agencies lick their chops in anticipation of how easy their jobs are about to become.
March 2002: Friendster is launched. People with very few friends suddenly have lots of friends. The socially awkward of the world rejoice.
August 2003: Myspace is founded, and profile glitter becomes a thing.
February 2004: Facebook goes live, bringing chain emails to social media.
June 2005: The world’s angriest website, Reddit, is launched.
February 2005: YouTube is born, sounding the death knell of America’s Funniest Home Videos.
July 2005: Myspace reaches 22 million users and is growing at a rate of 2 million per month. Everyone can see this THIS bubble will never, ever burst.
October 2006: YouTube is acquired by Google for $1.65 billion, and promptly fades away into obscurity.
March 2006: Twitter goes live.
September 2006: The Facebook “Newsfeed” goes live. Facebook’s grip on what the world tightens.
August 2007: The hashtag (#) debuts on Twitter. #awesomeidea
October 2008: Spotify goes live. The zombie hand of the music industry bursts through the ground in front of its tombstone.
September 2009: Facebook announces that it is cashflow positive for the first time. Mark Zuckerberg high-
March 2010: Pinterest goes live. The world’s craft enthusiasts rejoice and the phrase “Pinterest fail” becomes a thing.
October 2010: Instagram is launched and hits 1 million users by December. Taking photos of one’s meal before eating it increases by 10,000,000,000,000%.
July 2011: Snapchat is launched just in time. Everyone’s parents now have Facebook accounts, which is awful.
April 2012: Facebook acquires Instagram for $1 billion, almost cornering the global market of selfies and dinner photos.
October 2012: Facebook reaches 1 billion active users. The world wakes up to the fact that a for-
June 2015: Friendster shuts down. Wait, who were they again?
September 2015: Snapchat introduces its “filters” feature, allowing users to add animal ears and rainbow puke to their snaps. The internet LOVES it.
September 2016: Snapchat re-
March 2018: It is revealed that Cambridge Analytica harvested troves of user data without their consent and used this data for political purposes. Facebook stock plummets.
April 2018: Mark Zuckerberg testifies before Congress. The world sees how weird becoming one of the world’s richest humans can make you.
April 2021: Phrasee announces the impending arrival of AI-
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