Start Date
Place
Notes
Source
1960
International
Email was introduced in the 1960s when people
began sending messages to others working on
the same mainframe.
Encyclopedia of New Media, P. 175
1962
International
Douglas Engelbart writes Augmenting Human
Intellect paper.
https://www.socialtext.net/m2m/index.cgi?
social_software_timeline January 2011
1962
International
J.C.R. Licklider & W. Clark publish MIT: On-Line
Man Computer Communication.
https://www.socialtext.net/m2m/index.cgi?
social_software_timeline January 2011
1970
US
In the late 1960s, Ray Tomlinson set out to create
a program that would send messages from one
computer to another on the same network.
Encyclopedia of New Media, P. 175
1972
US
Ray Tomlinson of BBN invents an email program
to send messages across a distributed network.
Ray is also noted in Internet history as the man
who decided to use the @ symbol in email
addresses.
http://www.warbaby.com/FG_test/Timeline.ht
ml November 2007
1973
International
David Woolley writes PLATO Notes, an online
forum/message board system. It later inspires
adaptations to many other platforms, including
the notesfiles program that became part of
Usenet in the late 1970's, and Ray Ozzie's Lotus
Notes in the 1980's.
https://www.socialtext.net/m2m/index.cgi?
social_software_timeline January 2011
1973
International
Doug Brown writes the Talkomatic group chat
program for the PLATO system.
https://www.socialtext.net/m2m/index.cgi?
social_software_timeline January 2011
1978
US
First electronic bulletin board system (BBS)
appeared and became the primary means of
communication for the electronic underground.
http://www.wavefrontcg.com/A_Brief_History
_of_Cybercrime.html February 2011
1980
US
The Arpanet had 430,000 users, who exchange
almost 100 million e-mail messages a year.
http://Www.scaruffi.com March 2007
1981
US
BITNET, the Because Its Time NETwork is
started as a cooperative network at the City
University of New York, with first the connection to
Yale. It provides electronic mail and listserv
servers to distribute information. unlike USENET,
where client s/w is needed, electronic mail is the
only tool necessary.
http://www.warbaby.com/FG_test/Timeline.ht
ml November 2007
1981
US
CSNET (Computer Science NETwork) is built by
UCAR and BBN with seed money from NSF to
provide networking services, particularly email, to
university scientists who have no access to
ARPANET. CSNET later becomes known as the
Computer and Science Network.
http://www.warbaby.com/FG_test/Timeline.ht
ml February 2011
1984
International
Birth of the Fido network of Bulletin Board
Systems (BBSes).
https://www.socialtext.net/m2m/index.cgi?
social_software_timeline January 2011
1985
International
Whole Earth 'Lectronic Link (WELL) community
gets started
https://www.socialtext.net/m2m/index.cgi?
social_software_timeline January 2011
Jan 1992
International
WWW founder Tim Berners-Lee creates his
What's New? page, arguably the first weblog.
https://www.socialtext.net/m2m/index.cgi?
social_software_timeline January 2011
1995
International
Classmates.com was founded.
http://www.nfistudios.com/blog/2007/06/21/a-
brief-history-of-social-networking-sites
November 2010
1997
International
Six Degrees of Separation was founded.
http://www.nfistudios.com/blog/2007/06/21/a-
brief-history-of-social-networking-sites
November 2010
Sep 1997
International
Rob Malda's Slashdot, the first weblog to enable
reader comments (to check), goes online.
https://www.socialtext.net/m2m/index.cgi?
social_software_timeline January 2011
1999
International
Circle of Friends was founded.
http://www.nfistudios.com/blog/2007/06/21/a-
brief-history-of-social-networking-sites
November 2010
2000
International
10 billion e-mail messages a day are exchanged
over the Internet.
http://www.scaruffi.com August 2006
2000
US
5.1 billion emails are sent [per day] in the U.S.
http://www.mediahistory.umn.edu August
2006
2003
International
Estimated 5 trillion unwanted messages set on
the Internet.
http://www.mediahistory.umn.edu November
2010
2003
International
MySpace.com was founded.
http://www.nfistudios.com/blog/2007/06/21/a-
brief-history-of-social-networking-sites
November 2010
2004
International
Facebook.com was founded.
http://www.nfistudios.com/blog/2007/06/21/a-
brief-history-of-social-networking-sites
November 2010
2004
International
Orkut.com was founded.
http://www.nfistudios.com/blog/2007/06/21/a-
brief-history-of-social-networking-sites
November 2010
2004
International
The YASNS lists 209 different social networking
systems.
https://www.socialtext.net/m2m/index.cgi?
social_software_timeline January 2011
2005
International
Bebo launched as a networking and blogging
site. Key features were a friends list and
comment box. Bebo becomes part of AOL in
2008. Can be linked to other social networks
such as Facebook and Twitter.
http://martyedward.wordpress.com/2010/02/
15/timeline-social-networking-sites/ January
2011
2005
International
Yahoo! 360 was founded.
http://www.nfistudios.com/blog/2007/06/21/a-
brief-history-of-social-networking-sites
November 2010
2005
International
YouTube an Adobe Flash video sharing website,
displaying a broad range of user-generated
content including film and TV clips, music videos
and original, amateur blogs or videos
http://martyedward.wordpress.com/2010/02/
15/timeline-social-networking-sites/ January
2011
2006
International
Twitter was launched as a new type of social
networking site, focused on microblogging. It
allows people to send 'tweets' and to update their
status to notify people on what they are up to.
Instead of having 'friends' users have people
'following' them or they follow people, allowing
them users to keep up to date with what their
friends are doing. Twitter became an ideal
platform for celebrities to connect with their fans.
http://martyedward.wordpress.com/2010/02/
15/timeline-social-networking-sites/ January
2011
2006
International
Twitter, a social networking and microblogging
service, is created by Jack Dorsey.
http://Grammar.about.com/od/words/a/history
timeline_3.htm June 2009
Social Networking Timeline
Created with Timeline Maker Professional. Produced on 25 Feb 2012.