by Kaylee Lauriel, PR Intern
Since the dawn of civilization, humans have been social animals. What first manifested as a basic shared language has since evolved into subcultures on a multitude of social media platforms. The human impulse to know and be known has driven social media into the awe-inspiring network it is today.
When the first social media site was launched in 1997, it was nowhere near the expansive behemoth we know it to be. Six Degrees, credited as the first social media platform, was meant as a way of direct electronic communication. It wasn’t until we started getting to the 2000s that sites began to fill out their own separate niches.
In 2002, LinkedIn came into existence to fulfill a professional niche with a purpose of connecting users with businesses and potential employers. LinkedIn is still the seventh most popular social media site among adults in the USA.
In the decades since, social media has evolved into a source of entertainment and news, a new form of marketing and a retail platform. Sites like Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram and TikTok rose in popularity and have stayed there since their conception. TikTok is even the most downloaded app in the US.
The creation of mobile phones has only added to the popularity of social media. In fact, 90% of the US population actively uses social media as of 2023 according to Pew Research. In case you aren’t someone who likes percentages, that’s 302.35 million social media users.
Brands, universities, sports teams and just about everyone else in between are using social media as a creative outlet to tell consumers what their organization is about.
Social media has changed the game in every way possible. No one could have predicted the way social media has evolved since its creation, nor will we be able to predict how it will continue to evolve.