In which year was the first recognizable social media site launched on the Internet?
The first recognizable social media site, Six Degrees, was created in 1997. It enabled users to upload a profile and make friends with other users. In 1999, the first blogging sites became popular, creating a social media sensation that's still popular today.
AOL Instant Messenger and SixDegrees.com launched in 1997. Instant messaging was born, giving users the freedom to chat with friends, and create a profile. AOL was probably the true precursor to today’s social networking sites. The member profiles allowed its users to write a biography and share details about themselves. The profiles were searchable so people could look your profile up. It was the most innovative feature at that time.
Other sites followed suit, creating social networking sites such as Classmates, Friendzy, Hi-5, just to name a few. Many were dating sites, while some were more niche driven. For example, Classmates allowed users to reconnect with old classmates, pals, bullies and crushes. It was a hit immediately, and today Classmates still has some 40,000,000 registered users.
SixDegrees.com is one of the earliest social networking sites, but did not gain the same success. The idea is based on the theory that people are separated by no more than six degrees from one another. It also allowed users to create profiles, make groups, search and invite friends.