February 1978: First dial-up BBC (“CBBS”) is launched. BBSs continue to grow in popularity through the 1980s.
1995: Personal home-page service Geocities is launched. Goes public in 1998 and is urchased by Yahoo! in 1999 for $3.57 billion. Geocities is shuttered in 2009.
1997: Early social media service SixDegrees.com is launched. At its height, the service claims 1 million users.
August 1999: Blogging service Blogger launches. Purchased by Google in 2003.
March 2002: Social media site Friendster launches. Membership peaks in 2008, then begins its steady wane.
December 2006: Yahoo offers $1 billion to buy Facebook. but Facebook ultimately declines the offer.
March 2006: Text-based social media service Twitter is born. So-called “Tweets” are limited to 140 characters each.
February 4, 2004: Facebook launches. Initially open only to Harvard students, then opens to 800 colleges in May 2005. By September 2006, Facebook is available to all users 13 and over.
July 2003: MySpace launches. The site is acquired by News Corp in 2005 for $580 million and is receiving more than 75 million visitors per month in late 2008.
May 2003: Corporate social networking site LinkedIn opens its doors.
April 2008: Facebook’s popularity overtakes MySpace’s, based on the number of monthly unique visitors.
February 6, 2009: Facebook changes its terms of service to include broad, perpetual UGC license. Twelve days later, after considerable pressure, the changes are rolled back.
December 1, 2009: Revised FTC “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials” go into effect, impacting both endorsers and advertisers.
December 2, 2009: Facebook membership hits 350 million. Climbs to 400 in February 2010 and half a billion users five months later, after surpassing Google’s weekly web traffic in March 2010.
May 21, 2010: It is revealed that MySpace, Facebook, and other social networks are sending user names and IDs to advertisers along with user URL data.
June 30, 2011: News Corp. sells MySpace to Irvine-based digital media firm for $35 million. Specific Media, the buyer, counts Justin Timberlake among its investors.
June 28, 2011: Google Plus launches its closed beta—in a little over two weeks, more than ten million people have joined, sharing around one billion items per day.
May 19, 2011: LinkedIn goes IPO, the value of its shares more than doubling in the initial day of trading. On June 3, daily deals site Groupon files to go public as well.
March 15, 2011: Starbucks passes 20 million “Likes” on Facebook.
November 30, 2010: Facebook valued at $50 billion based on private market transaction.
July 8, 2011: LinkedIn climbs to #2 in the U.S. for total monthly unique visitors, squeaking by MySpace’s 33.5 million June visitors with 33.9 million of its own.
July 13, 2011: Twitter celebrates its five-year birthday—the social media giant delivers 350,000,000,000 Tweets per day.
original source: http://www.mofo.com/sociallyaware/