The oldest form of communication known to man was the telephone, and to get more information, one had to turn to the newspaper. As time passed, the television was introduced, followed by computers, mobile phones, and the internet. Social media is the latest stage in the evolution of human communication.

It is a common belief that man is a social animal. For us, imagining a day without social media is nearly inconceivable. Half of the current population doesn’t even know what life was like before social media. The current trend is to share every moment of our lives on social media. This technological advancement allows us to do just that, along with staying in constant contact with our loved ones. Therefore, social media exists to satisfy the human need to connect.

Another major advantage of this stage of evolution is that it gives the public the chance to voice their opinions and views freely. In earlier days, only the journalists working for the newspapers and news channels could voice their take on what was occurring around the world. But now, the general public has finally received their chance to speak their mind to express themselves in every way possible.

Current Stats on Social Media Usage

Social media is reaching new heights every day. Recent studies have shown that, owing to the global pandemic and the constant house arrest, the usage of these platforms has increased. In 2021, there were around 233 million users of social media in the United States alone. And the numbers keep on rising. According to January 2022 survey, 58.4 percent of the world’s population is currently linked via various social media networks.

Let us take a sequential look at the evolution of social media since the mid-1900s.

  • The Beginning: ARPANET

The ARPANET, or Advanced Research Projects Agency Network, was initiated by the U.S. Defense Department in 1969. Due to the demand for constant transmission as well as security measures, the Pentagon-funded research institutes needed computers that were connected. Thus, telephone lines were used to link the computers. In 1969, the first-ever “node to node” message was sent between the computers. Initially, it was used for academic purposes, but its progress rate soon caught the eye of the military. Using the first Transmission Control Protocol (TCP), the ARPANET grew into what we know as the modern internet.

Social Media
  • The Introduction of Email

The next big step in connecting the world is the introduction of electronic mail or email. In 1971, using computer coding, Ray Tomlinson brought into the picture the first email, which soon became a rising star. It was used by the government, military, universities, and corporate sectors to send and receive instant messages across computer networks. By 1976, 75 percent of the communications passing through ARPANET were through email. Even after being in play for years, this digitized form of mail has not lost its touch. It is widely used for connecting apps and is still considered the most formal form of communication. 

  • For the Masses: Bulletin Board System

From the beginning, ARPANET was limited to the military due to security measures. The general public was not allowed access. Even email was used for official purposes. So, there was this growing demand for some sort of platform that would help connect the general public. Keeping this in mind, Ward Christensen and Randy Suess created the “Computerized Bulletin Board System,” where like-minded people conversed on various topics. Anyone with access to a dial-up modem was free to voice their opinions.

  • The Online Journaling: Blogs

In 1989, the World Wide Web (WWW) made its debut in the world on the internet. This opened a brand new avenue in the world of social media. The first-ever platform that was created was a blog. It is an online journal that can be created on the web to post detailed information on any topic of concern. Studies conducted have shown there are almost 31 million bloggers in the United States.

  • Launch of Social Media Sites and Apps 

Since the 2000s, the world has witnessed a steep rise in social media sites and apps. Facebook came around 2005, followed by YouTube and Twitter in 2006, Instagram in 2010, and the list continues. All these platforms provide a one-stop shop for the demands of this generation. They allow users to share and upload photos, videos, news, and any other form of content. In 2016, we saw the birth of TickTock, a media app for recording and sharing videos.

Creation and Up-gradation of Social Media Features 

Social media is not stagnant. They are constantly evolving to keep up with the needs and preferences of their users. But the primary question is, how is it done? The answer to this is advanced-level coding. In layman’s terms, social media sites and applications are software built using coding languages like Java, C, C++, Python, and many more. All our favorite “like” and “react” features, photo and video editing features, etc., are created and edited using it. 

Without a question, technology and codes have helped in the development of social media. Every day it assists our beloved apps in reaching new heights. Today, anyone can learn to code. So, if you’re reading this article and want to make your own app, go to BYJU’S FutureSchool website and read blogs to learn more.

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