As soon as Internet became available to the public simple chatting within a company or the bulletin boards system was not enough to accommodate huge interest of people to interact freely, to share or discuss information about each other and their lives, interests, hobbies, etc. And of course to use a multimedia to share more information as pictures, videos and audio.
As per Wikipedia “Social media refers to the means of interactions among people in which they create, share, and exchange information and ideas in virtual communities and networks”.
There are lots of well-known social media websites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, WordPress, Blogger, Typepad, LiveJournal, Wikipedia, Wetpaint, Wikidot, Second Life, Del.icio.us, Digg, Reddit, Lulu and many others.
Nowadays most of the people can’t image themselves without Social media internet websites. It’s almost as a virtual life without a personal contact. Some studies show that it can be addictive and using social media services may lead to a “fear of missing out,” Social media has a positive outcomes by helping people to communicate around the World. At the same time it has negative impact on young users with unsorted information as sex, drugs and more.
There are six different types of social media:
- collaborative projects (for example, Wikipedia),
- blogs and microblogs (for example, Twitter),
- content communities (for example, YouTube and DailyMotion),
- social networking sites (for example, Facebook),
- virtual game worlds (e.g., World of Warcraft),
- and virtual social worlds (e.g.Second Life).
There are some interesting statistics for social media usage and effectiveness for individuals worldwide:
- 51% of people aged 25–34 used social networking in the office, more than any other age group
- As of 2012, Facebook has 152,226,000 unique PC visitors and 78,388,000 unique mobile app visitors. Twitter reported 37,033,000 unique PC visitors and 22,620,000 unique mobile app visitors. Pinterest reported 27,223,000 unique PC visitors and 14,316,000 unique mobile web visitors. Google+ reported 26,201,000 unique PC visitors and 9,718,000 unique mobile app visitors.
- Twitter processed more than one billion tweets in December 2009 and averages almost 40 million tweets per day.
- Australia has some of the highest social media usage in the world. In usage of Facebook, Australia ranks highest, with over nine million users spending almost nine hours per month on the site.
- The number of social media users age 65 and older grew 100 percent throughout 2010, so that one in four people in that age group are now part of a social networking site.
- Social media has overtaken pornography as the No. 1 activity on the web.
- YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world.
- One out of eight couples married in the U.S. last year met via social media according to statistics released June 2011.
- 1 in 5 divorces are blamed on Facebook.
- In November 2011, it was reported Indians spend more time on social media than on any other activity on the Internet.
The Brief History of Internet Social Media
1971 – the first email was delivered.
1978 – the first bulletin board system (BBS) was invented. The main purpose was to inform friends of meeting, make announcements and share information through postings.
1992 – Tripod opened as a community online for college students and young adults.
1994 – Geocities were created. Geocities would cross the one million member mark by 1997. There were 39 million user web pages on GeoCities in United States by 2009. But it was shut down for United States in 2009. Yahoo owns GeoCities today. Yahoo offers it only as web hosting service for Japan.
1997 – Blogging begins. SixDegrees.com offers users crate profiles and list friends. AOL Instant Messenger offers users chat.
1999 – Friends Reunited was founded in Great Britain to relocate past school pals.
2001 – Wikipedia was started.
2002 – Friendster was opened to the public in the U.S.. It grew to 3 million users in 3 months. AOL had 43 million members.
2003 – MySpace was launched as a clone of Friendster. Linden Lab opened the virtual world Second Life on the Internet. Linkedln was launched as a business-oriented social networking site for professionals.
2004 – Facebook was started for students at Harvard College as a college version of Friendster. MySpace surpassed Friendster in page views. Flickr image began on the Internet. Digg was founded as a socail news website where people shared stories found across the Internet.
2005 – Bebo was started as another social networking website. Facebook launched a version for high school students. YouTube began storing and retrieving videos.
2006 – Twitter was launched as a social networking and micro blogging site, enabling members to send and receive 140-character messages called tweets. Facebook membership was expanded and opened to anyone over age 13.
2010 – Google lunched Buzz, a social networking site integrated with the company’s Gmail. It was reported that in the first week, millions of Gmail users created 9 million posts.