The Evolution of Social Media - Part |||

Five Social Media Features that Shaped Online Culture

In this report we zoom in on five social media features, and delve into their background. We discuss the individual or team that created the feature, then chart how that specific feature spread across the internet. Each section concludes with a brief discussion of how the features have transcended geographical and linguistic boundaries to create and shape aspects of online culture.

To conduct this inquiry, we use social media analytics and historical data from Infegy Atlas, including a dataset that goes back to 2007. We supplement our historically contextualized data with numerous other archival sources. In this report,we organize our findings into five, chronological key features, each of which created their own online cultural paradigm:

  • Netscape’s browser cookie - personalizing content for users
  • Facebook’s News Feed - curating individualized experiences
  • Twitter’s hashtag - enabling user-discovery and aggregation of content
  • Facebook’s Like button - promoting virality and online tracking
  • Snapchat’s disappearing media - pointing to the future of social media

About this series:

Since its inception in 1997, social media has evolved in leaps and bounds. This four-part technical report series examines the technological, financial and cultural factors associated with this evolution to forecast future chapters in the ongoing journey of social media.

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