The Revolution of Social Media

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The Revolution of Social Media
Shawn Kirby
INF 103
Prof. Withers
May 13, 2012

The Revolution of Social Media
We live in a very face paced world. A world where instant gratification is what almost everyone wants. The advances in technology have enabled us all to have the ability to experience instant gratification in our social lives. The creation of the smart phone was one of the biggest tools invented in order for us to all have instant access to our friends and families, no matter where we are in the world. With apps like Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, and the numerous other social networking apps out there we can instantly tell people in our networks, where we are and what we are doing just by using our phones. Social networking is a revolution that is sweeping the world every second of the day, it started out small, but now it is a booming enterprise and what seems to be the future of the world.

It is truly amazing how far the world has come since the advent of the internet. The internet has paved the way for social networking sites to be a part of everyday life for most people. Friendster was founded in 2002 and was the first modern, general social network (Chapman, 2010). It had over 90 million registered users and its goal was to provide a safer and faster alternative to meet new people rather than the old normal way of going out to a bar, coffee shop, or any other place that a person might meet someone. Friendster is still an active site on the Internet today, and most if its traffic comes from Asia.

Hi5 was established in 2003 and has more than 60 million active members (Chapman, 2010). Hi5 is not very popular in the United States; its largest user base is in parts of Asia, Latin America, and Central America. Its site works a lot like most other social media sites where you can have your page viewed by only your friends, friends of friends, and friends of friends of friends, depending on how you set up your privacy settings.

MySpace was established in 2003 and by 2006 it became the most popular social networking sites in the world (Chapman, 2010). MySpace was different from all other social networking sites because it allowed its user to fully customize their profiles. Users could change backgrounds, text styles, embed music and music videos on their profiles. On MySpace, users could post comments on their friends walls, talk through private messages, shotgun blast all their friends through bulletins and blogs. In 2006 MySpace introduced MySpace IM which allowed instant messaging between friends (Chapman, 2010).

Enter the super power of social media, Facebook. Mark Zukerberg founded Facebook as a social network for Harvard students only in 2004, quickly expanding to other schools, then high schools, businesses, and eventually to everyone in the world by 2006 (Chapman, 2010). Facebook is the social networking juggernaut. Facebook allowed users to post photos, videos, play games and add comments on friend’s pages. Facebook allows outside developers to build apps that integrate with Facebook and boasts nearly 850 million total users and about 480 million daily users (Facebook Inc, 2012). A younger audience first started using social networks, but through the passage of time the audience has become broader and older. This shift has primarily been driven by Facebook whose greatest growth has come from the ages of 35 to 49, and from December 2007 through December 2008, Facebook added almost twice as many 50 to 64 year old visitors than it added under 18 year old visitors (Bowles, 2010). Facebook’s revenue of $3.7 billion in 2011 represents an increase of $1,737 million, or 88% compared to 2010, which in turn more than doubled from the year before (Facebook Inc., 2012). Facebook is the easiest way for friends and family members to keep in contact with each other when separated. Soldiers deployed all over the world use it to keep up with loved ones back...
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