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The Rise and Fall of Social Networks

It could sound quite obvious to explain the change that social networks have had in our lives. Almost everybody in 2020 has a Facebook account. Most of us also are on Instagram and Twitter. The youngsters prefer Snapchat, while professionals use LinkedIn. In general, the time we spend on social media is growing day by day.

But take a look at the past. Do you remember when social networks were still a novelty, and MySpace was the platform of the future? And what about the disastrous experience of Google+? After more than 15 years of social media we have a strong overview, and that’s why today’s blog post will focus on the rise and fall of social networks from 2003 to 2019.

 

The history of Social Networks

With their exceptional video, Data Is Beautiful gives us a direct sight of the history of Social Networks since they were gathering just above 5 million users, to 2019’s triumphal billions of accounts. The graphics are simply impressive, and gives us the possibility to see how the world changed in the last fifteen to twenty years.

There are many conclusions we can take. The impressive rise of Facebook since 2007 is the standout factor, and we can rightly talk about an ‘empire’ built by Mark Zuckerberg, especially if we take in account the designated heir, Instagram. The incredible fall of the first king MySpace, at the time dubbed the undisputed leader, reminding us that in the high-tech world of the future is highly unpredictable. The persistence of the old, wise LinkedIn, which has not left the top 10 since 2003, teaches us that the professional and sober profile will never go out of fashion.

The future of Social Media Platforms

On the other hand, we have many questions when we think about the future. Will the rise of the young Instagram (who reached the billion users in 2018) end with a change at the top? Today it seems unlikely, but history could repeat itself, this time against Facebook. Nonetheless, this competition can only be a source of pleasure for Zuckerberg, owner of both the platforms. The outsiders are QZone, Weibo and TikTok, China’s largest social networks, but, as it stands, the sum of their users is still lower than Facebook total accounts. Anyway in the past we have seen such impressive rises and falls so much so that nothing should be taken for granted. A new decade has just started: if the 00s were the early days, and the 10s had been a period of great changes under the leadership of Facebook, the 20s could be both the age of a confirmation of Facebook dominance or the emergence of new enemies for the Zuckerberg empire. Only time will tell.

 

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