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  • Web 2.0 invited users to actively participate in content creation

  • Broadband had a significant impact on Internet usage

  • Social media offered users easy access to information

Faster Internet connection, extended access and facilitated usage of computers opened doors for new approaches to communication.

During a short period of six years, from 2004 to 2010, Internet changed into a social system with participants all over the globe. Everything started in 2004 with “Web 2.0”, and its introduction to more websites focusing on user-generated content, usability, and interoperability. Web 2.0 referred to significant changes in how web pages were made and used. Earlier web pages limited users to passively view content without personal interactions. Web 2.0 involved a new approach allowing users to interact and cooperate with each other in a dialogue as creators of user-generated content.

 

Around the time of Web 2.0’s birth, owning a computer started to be more common in households all over the globe. Hard drives emerged and replaced smaller and slower discs and grew from megabytes to gigabytes. A period of adoption and commoditization kicked off and people became more familiar with hardware’s such as computers and mobile phones, reporting ZNetLive.

 

From 2004 and forward, important milestones took place which got us to where we are today, with constant internet usage being a normal part of daily life. One of the most important milestones came with the faster Internet. Broadband first started to replace dial-up (connection established through telephone network) in the early 2000s, and by 2007 half of all Internet users had a broadband connection. Broadband permitted a higher volume of data to be transferred at faster speeds by using an ADSL (Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line) connection, which enabled fast data transmission over copper telephone lines, according to Plus Net.

 

Faster Internet connection, extended access and facilitated usage of computers opened doors for new approaches to communication. First social media site that reached a global audience was Myspace, arriving in 2003. Shortly after that social media started “booming”. LinkedIn entered the scene in 2003 and one year later, Facebook, our still biggest social media site was created, followed by big game changers as YouTube (2005) and Twitter (2007), reporting Our World In Data.

 

User-friendly mobile phones made constant connectivity possible

 

Furthermore, the development of user-friendly mobile phones played a big role in the increasing global internet usage. Mobile phone Internet services was offered already in 1999 when NTT DoCoMo launched i-Mode in Japan, but it took longer for it to be accessible under user-friendly attributes. In 2006, the South Korean company LG introduced the first phone of any kind with a large capacitive touchscreen, called LG Prada, in collaboration with Italian luxury designer Prada. And only one year after, Steve Jobs released the first iPhone, an event considered to be an important milestone in the smartphone revolution. The iPhone’s large touchscreen could flip through websites just like a desktop computer, reporting Science Node. The surfing experience arriving with these new technologies, provided facilitated and appealing constant access to the Internet, no matter the location. It was now possible to easily share, discuss, update, inquire, and respond to content available online, according to Georgia Southern University

 

The development of more user-friendly mobile phones is an important factor which allowed for new social media sites to establish. Social media sites like Instagram (2010), Snapchat (2011) and TikTok (2016) fast became popular and were adapted to be user-friendly mainly through the phone, Instagram has, for example, different functions depending on if it is used through the phone or computer.

 

Today, constant connectivity and use of social media have become important parts of daily life for many of us. Through these channels we receive easy access to social connections, news, information, and decision making. We need them for private usage and often also in order to perform at work. Social media has become a valuable communication tool used both locally and worldwide, allowing us to share, create, and spread information. It is also successfully used in marketing in order to influence purchase decisions of customers through reviews, tactics and advertising, according to InSegment.