The History of Social Media

We think of social media as a new thing, however, the idea began back in the mid-1800’s.  Its improved a lot since then but social media has a bigger history than the past 20 years!

The idea

Back in 1844, Samuel Morse sent a telegraph from Washington D.C to Baltimore. Doesn’t really sound like the social media we all know and (kind of) love but, at the time this was huge!

Fast-forward 125 years and the military came up with the Advanced Research Projects Agency Network or ARPAN for short. The idea was to connect multiple universities using the proto-internet. However, the project didn’t go to plan as they tried sending the word “LOGIN” but could only send “LO”.

Neither of the first attempts at social media really worked and even resembled what we know as social media today but the idea was there to connect multiple people from across the country so they could have a conversation.


In 1999, LiveJournal was created which was where you could post a journal style post about your day or week for all your friends and family to read. This was a great way to find out what your friends or family members have been up to if they live on the other side of the country or just too far away to see regularly.

3 years later competition arises. Peter Chin, Jonathan Abrams, and Dave Lee create Friendster.  This is the earliest form of social media that looks like what we use on a daily basis. Friendster was so popular that Google offered them $30 million for the company within a year of going live. The Friendster team rejected the bid and is now considered one of the biggest blunders of Silicon Valley.

The rise of Modern Social Media

In 2003 LinkedIn was created. At first, it was just like a normal social media but was focused on showing off your CV and who you work for. Now, LinkedIn is widely used by companies to scout to build a new team and hire new employees.

To find out more about social media history, check out this great infographic by Redpill.

History of Social Media

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