The Rise of Social Media [infographic]

January 17, 2013

It happened so fast. Social media has crept into the mainstream over the last twelve years. Crept? OK, that’s not a good word. Let’s call it launch bombed. Like 007 landing at the party in a big parachute. While arguably social media in the form of two-way communication online was developed as early as the 70’s, it did not proliferate our daily lives until YouTube hit the scene in 2005 followed by the popularity of Facebook and Twitter in everyday use by 2008. Between 2005-2010 it spread like lightning and we knew it because it became the topic at the dinner table with mom, dad and grandma over Thanksgiving. It was all marketers could talk about in 2008-2011 as many did what they could to resist the wave of change. Today, it has become a standard communication channel and matured into one of many tactics in every marketer’s playbook. Here’s a timeline Ginger created for one of my Fandom Marketing presentations that I wanted to share with you showing the rise of social media. It specifically showcases the years in which major social networks hit their stride.

Do you agree with our timeline? Let us know what you think in a comment.


Click to view full size

Download and share the rise of social media infographic anywhere you’d like. Many thanks if you do and please don’t forget to attribute it to us by doing the following:

1. Link the image back to this page.

2. When used on your website please mention and link back to its source in copy placed next to the image. To make it easy, we’ve provided a blurb to copy/paste: Source: Fandom Marketing


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  • Reply Rob Marlbrough January 22, 2013 at 7:05 pm

    We should expand on this infographic, and track when the network was formed, how long it took to reach the tipping point/go mainstream, and then when it “jumped the shark” and died (Friendster, MySpace, Ping).

  • Reply Fandom Marketing January 22, 2013 at 9:40 pm

    Jumped the shark? LOL That would be a fun graphic. ^m

  • Reply Stephanie Wong January 22, 2013 at 10:23 pm

    LinkedIn in 2011?? I thought it was earlier…

  • Reply Fandom Marketing January 22, 2013 at 10:24 pm

    Steph – this shows mainly when things hit their stride, not when they were launched.

  • Reply Ginger Warnecke Anderson January 22, 2013 at 10:31 pm

    ^(that was Ginger, sorry)

  • Reply Stephanie Wong January 22, 2013 at 10:31 pm

    I still thought it was earlier than 2011 because I used them actively before I went indie in 2010. Maybe got better after then…

  • Reply Ginger Warnecke Anderson January 22, 2013 at 10:32 pm

    I think 2011 was the year that organizations also realized the power of it… To not only find people, but target through ads and groups and such.

  • Reply Stephanie Wong January 22, 2013 at 10:41 pm

    Makes sense. I’m not one to really make an argument. I’m slow to adapt to everything. 😉

  • Reply Fandom Marketing January 22, 2013 at 11:01 pm

    Ginger Warnecke Anderson Just sign them ^Ginger or ^Gingie 🙂 ^m

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