The Evolution of Social Media [Infographic]

From the primitive days of basic forums and news groups to the current "Golden Age" of social media.

Social media has become a ubiquitous part of daily life, but this growth and evolution has been in the works since the late 70s. From primitive days of newsgroups, listservs and the introduction of early chat rooms, social media has changed the way we communicate, gather and share information, and given rise to a connected global society.

According to an infographic from social media monitoring platform Simplify360, the “Golden Era” of social media started in 2001. By this time there were already several chat application iterations, including ICQ, and one of the earliest blog platforms, Livejournal.

However, starting in 2001, there was a constant stream of social innovation that started with the first crowdsourced encyclopedia, Wikipedia. Wikipedia was followed by Friendster, MySpace, Facebook in 2004, and Twitter in 2006. While Facebook and Twitter are the two top social media platforms today, MySpace has undergone several pivots and is still in quiet operation.

While the infographic does include the launch of apps like WhatsApp and Snapchat, it doesn’t note the impact of mobile on the increase in social media use around the world. And there are plenty of networks that aren’t even mentioned, including Yik Yak, Whisper, Tsu and Ello, all of which are perhaps part of the ongoing Golden Age of social media.

Check out the infographic below to see the timeline of social media past and present.