I’m going to let you in on a well-kept secret.
There’s nothing new about “social media.”
Further, most online social sharing still happens outside of social networks.
From the very first email sent by researchers in Switzerland in 1971, to modern sites like Google+ and Pinterest, the Internet, and the valuable content it distributes, have always been social.
The very purpose of the Internet (every blog, website and virtual gathering place within it) is to let people connect, communicate, and collaborate.
So the concept behind Facebook, LinkedIn, and other social networking tools isn’t new. These sites just give us new, sexy, and easy-to use ways to do what we’ve always wanted to do online — exchange ideas and information.
The Internet has always been social, and it always will be. Still not convinced?
Here’s a handy timeline that might dispel any further historical myths about the true nature of the Internet, and where we’re all going with it, together …
Did you know that Twitter is the social network with the strongest growth rate in 2012, ahead of LinkedIn, Pinterest and Reddit?
Facebook? That didn’t even make the cut. Still, when you’re closing in fast on one billion users, your annual growth rate does tend to slow down a smidgen. Still, don’t shed a tear for Mark Zuckerberg – save those for the owners of Digg, Bebo, Friendster and, of course, MySpace, who are the four social networks most in decline, reminding us that success in this space can be both dramatic and fleeting.
This data comes courtesy of Ignite Social Media, who have compiled the infographic of infographics about the state of social media, worldwide, in 2012. Ignite’s research revealed that while social media as a whole continues to plateau – we haven’t seen any real growth, planet-wide, since 2009 – there are many success stories to be found. Pinterest has quickly established itself as the de facto social network for women, and Plaxo (who knew that was still going?) is incredibly popular with senior citizens.
Check out all this, and more, in the visualization below.