As most of you social media gurus will be aware, today is the biggest date in the social media calendar… Social Media Day! Social media has come a long way since it first started out, even though it is still relatively new. What better way to appreciate social media than to look at how far some of the most popular platforms have come…

Facebook

Then

Old version of FacebookIt’s safe to say that Facebook has come a long way… how old does this look?! Facebook started off as a database with limited functions in 2002. All users were restricted to having an @harvard.edu email address, and to add friends you had to do so by manually entering their email address. There was no news feed, just your own profile page and only one picture was on your profile. However, even though this Facebook was quite basic, you could still include details such as date of birth. In fact, people actually used to willngly enter more details than you would disclose now. For example, it was common for people to include their phone numbers, and Mark Zuckerberg’s first profile included his dorm room!

 Now
Current Facebook Website

In 2017, Facebook is a whole new site. With a news feed, suggested friends at a click of a button, and messenger – socialising has taken on a new form. Our profile pages include albums of photos that can be shared with everyone, and you can tag your friends and yourselves into places, photos, and posts. Facebook is no longer a way to connect with fellow Harvard students, but a way to connect with friends, families, and businesses. This platform now has a Facebook stories feature, whereby users can post photos that will only show for 24 hours. As well as this, people can now share live videos to their connections. Facebook is constantly changing and there is no doubt that it will look nothing like this in another few years.

Twitter

Then

Old Twitter

In 2006, Twitter was considerably more basic than it is now. Tweets were often made via SMS, texting your update to a specific number. It wasn’t until August 2007 that the hashtag was first proposed and started. What would Twitter be without hashtags? #Nothing. At first, there was no character limit, but the 140 character limit was adopted when Twitter went public (sigh).  This came about because old SMS had a character limit of 160, and they needed to leave enough room for a username.

Now

New Twitter

Twitter can now be accessed online and via an app on your phone, and has quickly become one of the places that people go to for finding out the latest news. The ability to see topics and hashtags that are trending across the world has opened up a new level of engagement that exceeds that of Facebook. Twitter is for conversations and regular updates on absolutely anything that you wish, and hashtags allow us to increase engagement and participate in conversations. Emojis are now a prominent feature of tweets, making the character limit a little more bearable, as people can now express their emotions through the use of emojis 😀😂😳😭. Sharing images and videos (including GIFs) has become very popular on this platform, and are a great way to increase engagement and help your tweet to stand out against the rest.

Instagram

Then

Old Instagram

Left image via TechCrunch

At the very beginning of Instagram in October 2010, Instagram had few filters and square photographs. Instagram could only be accessed through the app, which could only be accessed using an iPhone. It wasn’t until 2013 that the application could be used on other phones!

Now

New Instagram

Now, Instagram looks a lot more chic and professional. The timeline is now no longer ordered by time, but is instead organised based on an Algorithm created by Instagram. This algorithm came into play last year, replacing the chronological order of posts on the feed with posts that Instagram thinks you will like best. You are no longer limited to square photos, and can now fit in full-size portrait and landscape images. Instagram now also features a live video function that allows you to view people that you are following in real-time. Instagram stories has also been recently introduced, allowing you to post photos to followers that will disappear after 24 hours.

Basically, social media has come a long way and shows no signs of slowing down. If you would like some information on how to implement social media for your business, feel free to get in touch!