How social media networks have changed in the past
One of the biggest changes to social media networks is that they are no longer restricted only to young people as it once was, we see communities, older people, companies, brands, businesses all taking advantage of these social media networks.
Social media has been very influential in society especially considering its widespread use in all parts of the world. The chance to meet and keep up with people both far and near has created such an irresistible appeal on the masses.
The opportunity to access anyone and anything from any part of the world, share fun and interactive content, advertise yourself and brand, engage with costumers, find prospective job offers, offer exposure for business even going as far as political ads and campaigns; the evolution of social media has changed several if not all of the area of life.
This pace of change has strongly accelerated, social media in itself has evolved in the small amount of time its been around; a platform created originally for college students and millennial teenagers are now used popularly among a variety of age groups, social media networks have transcended from being a mere means for keeping in touch with friends and family to being used in ways that have real impacts on society; it is used to shape politics, business, commerce, world peace, culture, education, careers, innovation, like I said earlier, all areas of life.
Saying that the explosive growth of social media in the past year has taken the whole wide world by storm is a bit of an understatement, we live in a society where Facebook on its own has over 1.50 billion active monthly users: people wanting to connect with friends and family, catch up on current events and ultimately, entertain themselves.
This explosive growth makes it important for social media networks to evolve and change its designs and platform to best suit its users, Facebook, for example, was created in the year 2004 as a social media network exclusive to Harvard students. It quickly spread to the rest of the ivy league, as well as Stanford and MIT and then later in 2006 became available for anyone claiming to be above the age of 13, regardless of the individual’s affiliation with a university. Minor tweaks in design and page layouts have been made to further simplify the streaming process for users, like the Notification and Friends Icon getting moved to the upper navigation bar, the introduction of Likes and Reactions, Statuses and Updates, new features and Platform extension, the launch of a Stories bar to its news feed, as well as major improvement such as the introduction of Newsfeed algorithms; showing statuses and contents based on user interest instead of an endless stream of unnecessary and irrelevant content.
Another good example of a social media network that has greatly evolved over the years is Friendster, credited to be one of the first social media sites. Founded in 2002 with over 100 million users, it allowed users to sign up with their email address, make friends, as well as share videos, photos, and messages with other users. In 2011, Friendster re-branded as a social gaming site focused exclusively on the gaming community although it eventually suspended all of its services early in 2015 and finally ceased all operations in 2019.
As a marketer, looking at the evolution of several of these platforms gives you insight on how trends have matured and how to take thorough advantage of these changes to connect and communicate better with audiences. It creates a perspective on how your marketing strategies can evolve to fit in with the current social media industry and also to prepare for possible future changes.