115 Facts You Never Knew About Social Media (Infographic)

No, this is not a list. We couldn’t possibly go over every single fact and stat that we discovered during our research in just one post. So, as you read the information below, you should keep in mind that most of the facts from our infographic are not touched upon right here.

A Brief History of Social Media

We didn’t want to go too far back into the dark ages of the internet for this infographic. In order to create a clear and easily manageable set of stats, we decided to focus on what could be described as the post-Myspace era. Read about the big players of today, and don’t forget to check out the infographic for even more history.

115 Facts You Never Knew About Social Media

If you want to be exact about it, Facebook made its debut in 2004, although it was not open to the public at that time. In the earliest stage, it was just a service for Harvard students so that they could see who all of the new students were.
Later in the same year – 2004 – Facebook expanded to cover some other universities and colleges around the country, and in 2005 it began to cover some high school students. At this point, it was still basically unknown to the general public.
Facebook officially opened to the public in September 2006. You may remember that this public debut came right in the prime of Myspace, and we all know how that turned out.
It took some time, but three years later – 2009 – Facebook eventually became a profitable business, and it has only been going up since then. In fact, in September 2015 it was announced that Facebook was bringing in 22% of total mobile internet advertising revenue.
Going back in time again to 2012, Facebook bought Instagram for one billion dollars and also in the same year had an IPO of $104 billion. It really was a big year in the life of Facebook and perhaps their most important so far, as they also hit the milestone of having one billion users on the service in 2012.
Did you know that Twitter started as an SMS-based service? Yes, in the early days, you had to tweet by sending a text message from your phone to the number that was provided. This is why tweets were originally so short, because of the limitations on text messages back then, and the character limit has just stuck around since then.
Twitter was originally developed for internal communications among the employees of Odeo, which was somewhat of a podcast aggregation service at the time. It was not open to the public until July 2006. The very next year, Twitter broke away from its parent company and started to live on its own, so to speak.
The service didn’t become a big hit instantaneously. For the most part, people didn’t know what to do with it. The thought of being limited to such a small amount of characters in each message, compared to what you could do elsewhere, apparently wasn’t very appealing at the time.
However, in 2007, Twitter received a much-needed boost in users when it was featured at the South by Southwest Interactive conference. These conferences have a large focus on emerging technologies, which Twitter was at the time, and it received a lot of love from attendees.
By 2009, Twitter was well and truly established in popular culture. However, in the following years, and now in 2016, Twitter is facing the need to re-invent itself in order to maintain relevancy.
Instagram could be considered the baby of the other big social media platforms, as it was developed a lot later, but this baby has quickly grown up to be a real player in the game. It was launched in October 2010 and quickly gained over a million users only a few months after launch day. This fact alone made every other social media company pay attention to Instagram.
Just a couple of years later, in 2012, the Instagram app was getting over a million installs per day for a short while in April. This kind of viral popularity is something that most app developers could only dream about.
In June 2013, Instagram started to offer its users the ability to upload videos – not just pictures. There was a limit in place so that people could only upload 15 second long videos, but it was a hit nonetheless. However, now in 2016, they allow people to upload 60-second videos, which was most likely an attempt to retain users who were leaving for other platforms with fewer time constraints on videos.
LinkedIn is one of the oldest out of the major social media platforms that are still popular today, but it’s also one of the most overlooked by a lot of people. It officially launched in May 2003, added the LinkedIn Jobs feature in 2005, and then became a profitable business the very next year in 2006.
It slowly moved along in the years since – never really making any huge moves or threatening the other social media platforms in any way – and in 2011 it reached the milestone of having 100 million professionals worldwide.
This same year, 2011, on May 22 LinkedIn had its IPO with around 7.8 million shares. By the end of that day, the company was worth almost 9 billion dollars.
In June of the next year, 2012, LinkedIn became the target of a hacker who eventually stole the passwords of over six million users.
Just last year, in 2015, LinkedIn bought the online training website Lynda.com for 1.5 billion dollars.
As we mentioned earlier, this is only scratching the surface of what you can find in the infographic we put together. If you want to learn more about social media, and not just the history side of it, then you really need to take a look at this graphic.