The simple idea of social interaction has been around since simple messages using smoke and drums thousands of years ago going onto the invention of writing back in 5000BC and then communication using this through Pigeon post in the 5th Century. From this point forward we, as humans, have made continuous progress on an exponential scale to get to where we are today. To put a little perspective into this; it took 3000 years for the human race to go from ‘creating writing’, (I put inverted commas as this writing, was not anything we’d imagine from the term today), to making sense of the creation and adding in what we now call the alphabet making it much more accessible to different cultures and for communication.
In terms of data, globally we;
Send more than 144.8 billion E-mails daily
Upload more than 340 million Tweets daily
Share more than 640,000 bits of content on Facebook alone daily
Upload more than 72 hours worth of Video on YouTube every minute
Spend more than $272,000 online daily
Search over 2 million queries on Google every minute
Share photos on Flickr 3,125 times per minute
Download 47,000 apps on Apple’s app-store every minute
Like Brand’s Facebook’s content 34,000 times per minute
Publish 27,000 new posts on Tumblr every minute
Share 3.600 new photos every minute on Instagram
Share our location 2000 times a minute on Foursquare (worrying)
Launch 571 new websites a minute
Add 217 new people to the world of Mobile devices every minute
Publish close to 350 new blog posts every minute on WordPress
Without considering the extremities of where we will be in the future, let’s take a look at our history and see how we got to this point.
This exponential curve shows the dramatic increase in events that have occurred in history which have a significant impact on our future. As you can see the second the 1400’s are breached the speed in which civilisation matures and grows is awesome. The spikes in the graph represent years where there was more than one significant event occurred which would affect the future of civilisation.
This graph shows the growth of Social History of Media rather than the History of Social Media Growth. There is a big difference in that the first represents anything that has influenced the world in the media. Whereas the latter is directly linked to how Social Networking has grown independently. To start analysing this you’d have to go to the beginning of Social Networking; the 1997 social network sixdegrees.com
Sixdegrees.com started the trend of enabling users to create their own profile and connect to friends; at its height the site had over 3.5 million users. In 1999 the company was sold for $125 million and soon died in 2003, one of many failed Social Networks that had hopeful and optimistic futures. Other sites began to spring up in this time period as well, for example; asianavenue.com, blackplanet.com and migente.com. Unlike sixdegrees all three of these sites are still active today. In 2002 Social Networking began to get into it’s stride, Friendster was born, with a similar concept to sixdegrees but with better planning and presentation it was renowned as a dating site that wasn’t about dating. Moving onto 2003 LinkedIn was born, the site took off almost immediately as it had the niche that the website was restricted for professionals only, most definitely a success story as the company still holds an impressive 297 million members. Joining LinkedIn in 2003 was MySpace. I have done a previous post on the impressiveness of MySpace’s timeline from that era but relative to Friendster MySpace was the clear winner, it boasted everything Friendster had and much more. Now it is still floating around the Internet, it is just much smaller and targeted at musicians. Then in 2004 came Facebook, the king of all networks, it has dwarfed any other network in recent years with over 1.5 Billion users. Since then Social Networking sites have been springing up left-right and centre with the likes of: Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Tumblr, Foursquare, Pinterest, Google+ and many more successful and not so successful networks have been / are still around to use.
After decades, centuries and millenniums we have been evolving, it is difficult to believe how lucky we are to be a part of the generation we are today. On a relative scale of the history of time it was such a minute time ago when we were signalling to other areas through smoke and since written language did not even exist, to get where we are today and the vast majority of all this success has happened within the last few hundred years, so count yourself lucky you don’t still live in a wooden house.