Auld Lang Syne: Remembering Social Media Milestones

Are you ready to pop the champagne and celebrate the start of 2019? Tonight you will hear — or sing if you’re brave — the familiar Happy New Year tune “Auld Lang Syne.” This song, meaning “time gone by,” has our team reflecting on some milestones that have impacted social and digital media.

As we wrap up 2018, here are a several milestones our team is reflecting on, plus a current status update:

2006:

Myspace reigns as the most popular internet site — marking more unique visits than Google itself. Though it’s now primarily used as a music and culture site, Myspace was one of the first social media networks that allowed personal profiles.

July 2006:

Twitter launches and allows users to post using only 140 characters.

  • Twitter Today: While Twitter went to 280 characters in late 2017, the channel still remains the only one of its kind for short messages. Twitter went public in 2013 and currently has 67 million monthly active users (a much smaller audience than some of the others we’re talking about here).

September 2006:

Facebook was opened to the public. While Facebook — initially named Facemash and publicly announced as The Facebook — was launched in 2003, it was an invitation only site.

  • Facebook Today: Facebook has 2.27 billion monthly active users. For our banking friends, this means that Facebook advertising should be a priority (if it isn’t already). Facebook’s advertising interface is easy to use and allows you to see the impact of your ads shortly after they’ve launched. Don’t forget that we can also partner with your bank to help you write, create and launch Facebook ads.

2007:

The “#” first appears on Twitter and its name is changed among younger generations forever from “pound” to “hashtag.”

  • Using Hashtags Today: While we recommend only using one to two hashtags per post on sites like Facebook and Twitter, Instagram allows users to post up to 30 hashtags. We recommend researching based on what you’re posting to see what hashtags make sense. Consider 5-8 (per post, respectively) on Instagram.

2010:

Instagram launches as a photo and video-sharing social media network.

  • Instagram Today: Instagram has 1 billion active monthly users. In order to reach a core audience, many of our bank partners have started to make Instagram — and Instagram advertising — a priority.

2011:

Snapchat, a multimedia messaging app, was launched. While Snapchat’s users could only see content for a limited time when it first launched, the channel now allows users to see stories consisting of 24 hours of content.

2012:

Facebook buys Instagram for $1 billion.

  • Instagram’s Current Value: Today, Instagram is worth $100 billion. We’d say this was a great investment on Facebook’s part (Facebook also became a publically traded company in 2012).

2013-2018:

Social media applications for tailored audiences — like Vine (2013), Periscope (2015), Meerkat (2015), Musicly (2014 — now Tik Tok) and many many more — continue to launch and become acquired by larger companies like Twitter, Amazon, etc. During this time, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat continue to grow while Twitter users decline.

  • What This Means: Social media channels for specific audiences will continue to develop. While many of these don’t impact regulated industries, our team continues to stay current in order to understand the growing landscape and how it will impact our partners.

2019-2020:

The internet is predicted to pass TV as people’s favorite source of media. Today, 4 billion people are spending six-and-a-half hours online.

  • How to Stay Ahead of This Prediction: If you haven’t already, start allocating more of your media budget to social and digital media advertising. Understand your audience and consider budgeting for channels that will reach your customers and leads.

By looking back at some of these major milestones, it’s clear that we’ve seen a lot of changes in the social and digital media world. By taking a look at this timeline, we’re able to better understand indicators that can help your company Market with Confidence.