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All About Social Media Giants

Updated on August 13, 2015
Image courtesy of smarnad
Image courtesy of smarnad

Social Media Giants

With the overwhelming take over of the Internet on the world’s way to communicate people have had no other option than to embrace the new technology. For those of you that aren’t aware the Internet has been around for more than half a century. Yes, it had a precursor developed by the US military.

The ARPANET is the support or origin of what the Internet would become in later years. However, it is not until Tim Berners lee creates the first web browser that the masses begin taking a liking to this new form of communication all the way back to the 1990’s. To some it may be unbelievable that the likeable version of the Internet and web browsing are only about twenty-five years old. I’m not bluffing though and if you feel like the Internet makes you feel old then consider social media. The wonder of the World Wide Web that can also be considered a curse is another way to consider social media. Just think about it.

You’re talking to a person that is probably twenty kilometers away from you or a thousand miles away and it all thanks to satellites and waves you can’t see. Furthermore it’s the work of hundreds of engineers and people that assembled computer or phone parts that make it possible for you to see text presented to you almost instantly. To your grandfather whose letters got answered months later and your father that spent innumerable hours hogging his home phone sweet-talking your mom, that is bewildering.

Despite their bewilderment, they’ve come to accept the technology and the absurdity of it all and have joined us in the use of these not so mind blowing to us methods of communication. To most of us though concepts like CompuServe and AOL are just some weird terms I probably made up to catch your attention. The truth is that these were the first forms of interactive and interconnection software that were available to the public.

People could then send e-mails and messages over the net. It was a costly rush of adrenaline they experimented as they used these messaging services. CompuServe charged the users per hour for the usage of their software. They charged as much as thirty dollars the hour for using the program and it was still used by a great deal of people. CompuServe was popular during the 80’s all the way up to the mid 90’s.

That is still a decade before Facebook had been a concept of any sort. Even before Facebook came into play in 2004 there were many other social networking sites and messaging systems that came before it. As a child from the 90’s I recall fondly using Messenger to talk to my dad while he was overseas. I later heard about sites like Hi5 and MySpace, which have now sadly died out as mediums to exchange encounters between people but we all go through phases, don’t we?

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles

Times change and so do trends and the new giants and trends in the social networking market are different. Today there are a few giants in the world of social media and I will course through them, a little bit of their history and what they can offer you.

Back in 2004 in Harvard (in case you haven’t been bombarded by the movie adds or the history of it) Mark Zuckerberg and a group of other manly men decided to make a private network on which Harvard students could share photos. The whole someone stole somebody else’s technology fiasco and now Mark and several other people own a company that makes twelve billion dollars in revenue settled in California in the US.

How do they do it if people only share photos of their cats and their walks on the beach? Facebook with over a billion users accounts for a 14 percent of the people on the planet using their social interface. The answer involves ads. With that amount of people clicking and flicking through their page it would be mathematically impossible to make money via ads. Of course Facebook has other ways to make money and will continue to expand in the foreseeable future.

Image courtesy of Master isolated images
Image courtesy of Master isolated images

Facebook has a lot to offer. A place where you can make your business public without charge, you can engage with your friends and family in poke fests and even stalk your loved ones and view their photos in the comfort of your home. This is the place where you were reunited with your long lost childhood friend and where you talked to your girlfriend or boyfriend for countless hours. Facebook’s interface began allowing the upload of videos and you can now not only watch videos but also play games like candy crush and other extremely addicting games.

Please note that despite the sarcastic humor this isn’t my rant on how much it sucks to get a hundred invites on games I don’t want to play or being bombarded by ads this is a call to use Facebook as a tool not let it make you a slave to its never-ending timelines and time consuming photos, videos and games. I believe that the problem is not Facebook but the way people use it and this why this is the first of the first social media giants on this list.

We all have a philosopher in us. We just don’t know we do until we’re allowed to express our ideas limited by a 140-character limit. Twitter is the next social media giant on my list and has a little over three hundred million active users. Racking up 1.4 billion dollars in revenue yearly for a social media center you have to do most of the work for Twitter has an attractive look to millions and despite the whooping difference of users in numbers it can be considered Facebook’s adversary.

Though I believe that a little competition never harms anyone I also believe that though they have different core objectives (Facebook does photos and Twitter does tweets) and that different people will enjoy different forms of expression. Twitter can also be a great promotion tool for many projects and businesses, for creating debates about meaningful things and about things not so meaningful. Once again I must make the case that you must use the tool and not the other way around.

Google Plus is another social media center that is gaining lots of followers. It is part of the Internet Corporation Google Inc. The media launched in 2011. This social interaction platform is offering its users the ability to post photos, update status, create communities of same interests and connect with the world in about the same level as Facebook. Using this platform users have the capacity to interconnect with the other services that this corporation offers, such as, hangouts, pages, circles, gmail and its chat.

One of the latest created social media giants is Pinterest; users don't interact as much with one another, but they can follow or repinit, invite friends, and one of the greatest things about this social is that you can pin your site in it. Creating a profile of your publications your followers will have the opportunity to visit your webpage every time you make a change and share it.

For the last social media giant on my list the severity of the; don’t waste your time case I’ve been posing is almost null. LinkedIn is a social media agent that allows people to make their professional profile public allowing them and their possible new employers to contact them and view their academic and professional skills. LinkedIn is essentially a business site and it’s like having an e-card.

Surprisingly to some of you, LinkedIn has been around a little longer than Facebook or Twitter having been launched back in 2003. The reason is because some of you were probably thinking about what cartoons you were going to watch that evening not so much who would send you a work application.

Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Plus and Pinterest are great web pages and apps with great applications. We as a generation should learn to use them properly and upheave the Internet and social media networks not batter them with senseless jealousy and random hate. I hope this article was educational.

Article by: Alain Gutierrez

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