Let’s take a moment to think back 10 years ago: Jean Chretien is the Prime Minister of Canada, the New Jersey Devils are the Stanley Cup Champions, nobody had ever heard of Justin Bieber and less than 60% of the population owns a cell phone. Google announces a new content-based advertising service, Facebook is still an idea in Mark Zuckerberg’s head and a tweet is a sound a bird makes.
Looking back at it now, Social Media has come a very long way in a short amount of time. It has revolutionized how the human race communicates, how companies advertise and has made the world smaller in general. Part 1 of “How Social Media Has Changed The World” focuses on Facebook.
Facebook, originally known as “The Facebook” was launched in February 2004 as a means for students at Harvard to find other students at their school, figure out who they shared a class with, and look up your friends’ friends. Eventually widening to all schools in Boston, Facebook continued to expand across North America and Canada until finally, in September of 2006, it was made available to anyone 13 or older with a valid email address.
Today, Facebook is the world’s largest social network, with nearly 1 billion users. Users can interact with one another, post photos, create events, join fan pages and much more. On top of this, Facebook has created an advertising system that allows corporations to target their ads specifically to people of a certain age, gender, demographic, location, etc. This advertising format allows companies to access the type of person they want, and allows them to advertise in this person’s living room or even in the palm of their hand. Huge multi-nation corporations have devoted millions of dollars toward advertising via social media, a type of advertising that hardly existed up until ten years ago.
Where will Facebook go from here? Only time will tell, but Facebook has been a true pioneer of Social Media and will likely continue to do so for a long time to come.
In part two, we’ll explore how Google has brought information to the world’s finger tips.