The Evolution of Social Media: A Business Perspective

What you will learn on social media

Are you curious about how social media got to where it is today? As a digital marketing consultant and trainer, let me take you on a brief journey through time to explore the key highlights that have brought us to where we are today.

I have also added the Social media key events and highlights in chronological order at the end of this post. So scroll to the bottom of the page if you want to get a grasp of what happened.

Key Highlights

If you just want the highlights, four key moments in social media history have brought us to where we are now:

The advent of video, with live streaming becoming capable in 2015 but catapulting into the public imagination in 2017 when Facebook released Facebook Live to many users. This brought us the emphasis on video and live video.

The creation of hashtags in 2007 by Twitter. Hashtags unite a word or phrase, making it clickable, and discoverable.

The concept of algorithms and algorithm changes. Instagram introduced the relevancy-based timeline in 2016, showing people what they may have missed from people they follow and want to see content from. This is also when we start to see the decline of business pages and accounts having a high reach.

The love for short-form, behind-the-scenes relatable content, often video. This was birthed in 2014 by Snapchat, rising in popularity due to the increase of the discoverability feature and more people discovering content through the discover tab on Snapchat.

Evolution of social media. Check out a funnier version (how each social media introduced itself) on Winicle Instagram account.

Social Media Timeline

Now, let’s take a more in-depth look at the timeline of social media from a business perspective. Please note that we are looking at major platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube, with a couple of guest appearances from other platforms that play into those major platforms.

Let’s start with LinkedIn, which launched in 2002, a year before Myspace’s launch in 2003. Facebook came soon after in 2004, followed by YouTube in 2005 and Twitter in 2006. It is worth noting that Google acquired YouTube just one year after its creation, transforming it into more of a search engine platform than a social media platform.

Moving on to 2007, Twitter created the hashtag, and the YouTube Partner Program was established. This incentivized Youtube creators to produce content that would bring consumers to the platform and keep them there longer. In 2008, Facebook surpassed Myspace in popularity, marking the beginning of Myspace’s decline and Facebook’s rise.

Now a few years after hashtags were invented, Instagram and Snapchat were launched in 2010 and 2011. Fun starts, why? because everyone loves taking pictures and sharing their memories, creativity and ideas with other people. Where, Snapchat was more to do on sharing immediate moments, popularizing behind-the-scenes content, Instagram was a general picture sharing platform.

Recent Social Media Timeline

The rise of TikTok in 2016, a social media platform that is centered around short-form video content. TikTok has quickly become a cultural phenomenon and has been downloaded over 2 billion times worldwide.

Winicle, a social media platform launched in 2021, is one of the latest advancements in the world of social media. What sets Winicle apart is its user-first mentality, where users are rewarded for their creativity with monetary compensation. Winicle supports ALL content creators to turn passion into profile. With Winicle, users can showcase their creativity through competitions and challenges, and monetize their efforts by winning these challenges. The platform’s reel challenges are specifically designed to help content creators earn money by showcasing their skills and creativity.


And there you have it, a brief history of social media from a business perspective. By understanding where we’ve come from and where we are now, we can begin to figure out where we’re heading. It’s also just fascinating to look back and see how far we’ve come.

Summary of the social media key events in chronological order

As I promised I have added the social media time lines in chronological order for easier reference. Please share this content on your social media if you enjoyed it.

1- LinkedIn launched in 2002

2-Myspace launched in 2003

3- Facebook launched in 2004

4- YouTube launched in 2005

5- Twitter created the hashtag in 2007

6- YouTube Partner Program established in 2007

7- Facebook’s popularity surpassed Myspace in 2008

8- Instagram created in 2010

9- Pinterest launched in 2010

10- Snapchat went live in 2011

11- Snapchat’s discoverability feature rises in popularity in 2014

12- Live streaming becomes capable in 2015

13- Instagram introduced the relevancy-based timeline in 2016

14- Douyin (later known as TikTok) launched in China in 2016

15- Facebook releases Facebook Live to many users in 2017.

16- Winicle launched in Australia in 2021, offering a unique social media experience that combines elements of short film/reel sharing capability with allowing users to compete against each other and demonstrate their creativity and earn money

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