Back in 2005 Pew Research Center began collecting information on the use of social networking sites and found that only 5% of all online adults were using a social networking site. Today that statistic has jumped to 67% of all online adults using social networking sites. The question that now comes is, how did the popularity of these sites evolve so quickly?
In August of 2003 a handful of employees at an Internet marketing company designed a website based off of “Friendster” which would allow users to connect with one another to share interests, music, information, and more. The name of this website was MySpace. By 2005 the company began to become popular among young teenage users, I certainly remember creating my own MySpace page as a teen. According to Pew Research the number of 18-29 year olds using social networking in 2006 was 49%. Like many new technological trends, social media began with younger users and has since spread to the rest of the population. To show just what an impact the spread of social media has had, 38% percent of users ages 65+ as of 2012 are now using social networking sites. So don’t be too surprised if you see your Grandma posting a status update about her 50-year high school reunion.
MySpace’s popularity set the groundwork for sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and Tumblr to grow into the revenue grossing companies we see today. Based on how social networking has grown in our society in the past 8 years, we can expect to see it’s popularity and abundance continue to rise in the years to come.