Timeline: History of social networking sites

In the last decade the evolution of social networking sites has been remarkable. Google is now jumping on the bandwagon and taking on competitors such as Facebook and Twitter with the launch of Googlebuzz. But how did social networking all begin? Let’s take a look at a few of the social networking sites of the past decade which have been dominating the web.


Classmates.com was launched by Randy Conrad in the United states. The website was created to allow people to keep in touch with their friends and acquaintances.


Friends Reunited was conceived by Steve and Julie Pankhurst from Hertfordshire, their curiosity about what their old school friends were doing and the US website Classmates.com inspired them to fill the gap in the UK market.


Habbo (previously known as Habbo Hotel) was launched in 2001 in the UK. It is aimed at teenagers and is owned by Sulake Corporation.


Friendster was launched by Jonathan Abrams and Chris Emmanuel in California.


Myspace was launched in 2003 and is owned by News Corporation. In 2006 it was the most popular social networking site in the US, however it was overtaken by Facebook in 2008.


Facebook was launched in 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg who founded the website with his fellow college students whilst studying at Harvard University. In 2009 complete.com ranked Facebook as the words most well used social networking site.


Bebo was founded in January 2005 by Michael and Xochi Birch and was relaunched in July of that year. The title is an acronym for “Blog early, blog often” and is currently owned by AOL.


Twitter was founded by Jack Dorsey in California, and allows its users to send and receive messages of up to 140 characters known as “tweets”.


Google launches Google buzz which is integrated into G mail, it will be the second attempt to compete in the social networking world. Google buzz claims to allow users to share photos, videos, updates and more.


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