History of Social Media – A timeline

A great deal has happened in the history of social media, with platforms, fads and technologies coming and going, as well as impressive milestones being passed. It can be very hard to keep track!

So here we present a brief timeline of the history of social media, to help make sense of it all.

Year Event
1844 Samual Morse sends the first electronic message from Baltimore to Washington, D.C.
1974 The Internet is developed from ARPANET following the publication of the first Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) specification
circa 1980 Bulletin Board System (BBS) emerges as one of the earliest known forms of social media
1988 Internet Relay Chat (IRC) is developed
1997 Social networking website SixDegrees.com is launched
1997 AOL Instant Messenger is released
1998 Open Diary is launched, providing the first social blogging network included concepts such as reader comments and friends-only content
1999 Yahoo! And MSN Messenger services are launched
1999 LiveJournal, an early blogging platform, is launched
2000 Habbo, a game-based social networking site, is launched
2001 SixDegrees.com shuts down
2002 Social networking site Friendster is launched
2003 Business-oriented social networking service LinkedIn is launched
2003 Myspace is launched
2003 Skype, an instant messaging and video/voice calling service (VoIP), is launched
2004 Facebook is launched
2004 Flickr, an image and video hosting website, is launched
2004 Orkut, a social networking website owned by Google, is launched
2005 Bebo, a social networking website, is launched
2005 Myspace is acquired by News Corporation for $580 million
2005 Qzone, a Chinese social networking website, is launched
2005 Reddit is launched
2005 Renren, another Chinese social networking website, is launched
2005 Yahoo! acquires Flickr
2005 Facebook launches its photos feature with no restrictions on storage (but without the ability to tag friends)
2006 Twitter is launched
2006 Facebook launches News Feed
2007 Tumblr is launched
2008 AOL buys Bebo for $850 million
2009 Sina Weibo is launched
2010 Pinterest is launched
2010 Bebo is sold by AOL to Criterion Capital Partners
2010 Instagram is launched
2010 Quora is launched
2011 Snapchat is launched
2011 Microsoft acquires Skype for $8.5 billion
2011 Google+ is launched
2011 Myspace is sold to Specific Media by News Corp. for $35 million
2011 Twitch is launched
2012 Facebook goes public, negotiating a share price of $38 apiece, valuing the company at $104 billion, the largest valuation to date for a newly listed public company
2012 Snapchat launches video sharing, allowing users to share 10 second videos
2012 Tinder is launched
2012 Facebook acquires Instagram for $1 billion
2013 Vine is launched
2013 Instagram launches video sharing
2013 Bebo is purchased from Criterion Capitol Partners for $1 million by Bebo's founders
2013 Google Hangouts is launched
2013 Myspace is re-launched
2014 Musical.ly, a lip-syncing app, is launched
2014 Amazon acquires Twitch for $970 million
2014 Orkut is shut down by Google
2015 Friendster shuts down
2015 Bebo is re-launched as a messaging app for iOS and Android
2015 Discord is launched
2016 Time Inc. buys Myspace
2016 Vine announced that Twitter would be discontinuing the Vine mobile app, later renamed to "Vine Camera"
2017 ByteDance acquires Musical.ly for $1 billion
2017 TikTok is launched
2018 Yahoo! Messenger shuts down
2018 Musical.ly shuts down and migrates its users to TikTok
2019 Google+ shuts down

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