Social media has changed the world, there’s no doubt about that. From AOL and Myspace to Facebook, Instagram and TikTok; the evolution of social media has been huge over the past 25 years and it continues to grow rapidly.
Fueled by human impulses to communicate and advancements in digital technology, social media has greatly changed the way we meet new people, keep in touch with family and friends, market and advertise businesses and products, and so much more.
Popular platforms are now used by more than two-thirds of all internet users and in less than a generation, have evolved from direct electronic exchange of information to virtual gathering places, to a platform for retailers, to an essential 21st-century marketing tool.
Never did we think, back in 1997 when AOL instant messenger first launched, we would be where we are today creating scroll-stopping reels and jumping on the latest audio trends.
Since then, we have seen the comings and goings of Yahoo Messenger, MSN Messenger, and Friendster. However, in 2004, Myspace was the first social media website to reach 1 million monthly active users and this is considered the beginning of social media as we know it.
Then, Facebook happened in 2004 and rocketed to become the most popular social media platform of all time for a wide range of audiences. With 2.9 billion worldwide users to date, it continues to hold the crown in the world of social media.
Reddit and Twitter followed after the launch of Facebook. Reddit brought a communal element to social media, where people could share and engage in their interests by communicating with other users through the use of message boards and images.
Twitter launched with a micro-blogging system to allow users to create short posts of 140 characters known as ‘tweets’.
In years gone by, it was typically only associated with celebrities and well-known entrepreneurs. However, these days everyone can use it for business and social purposes.
Despite the ever-growing success of Facebook, other platforms such as YouTube, Pinterest, Snapchat, Instagram, and TikTok have since introduced themselves to encourage a new and more visual purpose for social media and have experienced great success.
Today social media is defined by interactivity, how connected we are, and user-generated content. It has become a part of our daily activity to check our fave apps for news, and information, and use it to communicate with others locally and worldwide.
We also use it to read reviews, buy products and share, create, and spread information to market businesses and their goods and services. Employers even use it to examine the background of prospective candidates and arrange job interviews.
Over the years, following much research on user behaviour, it has become clear that users eat with their eyes. The visual aspects of social media, including images, videos, and infographics, are what really engage users.
The ‘now’ of social media is the creation of video content, including reels on Instagram and Facebook and videos on TikTok. It is driving an immense amount of growth online, therefore if you wish to grow your business you need to be creating online video content.
We asked the team at Hush which platform was their favourite back in the day and which they use most often to stay connected now.
If you’re looking for some help running your social media accounts to better your business, get in touch with the HushBots. We are efficient at building your online presence to promote your brand, engage customers, and provide customer service.