The History and Evolution of Social Media for Ad Agency New Business

Michael Gass history of social media

A look back at the history of social media can help us better move forward as it continues to evolve and mature.

There are social media solutions for almost every need. These are exciting times for the advertising industry.  I enjoy every day of exploring the potential of social media to advance ad agency new business and share what I’m learning with you.

Social media, in an incredibly short period of time, has become mainstream. Millions of people connect through social media channels daily.  To better understand where it is going, it is important to review its brief past.

Webdesigner Depot, has created an excellent summary of the  history of social media. Changes occur almost on a daily basis but this look back can help you put rising popularity of social media into context.  The following are the major topics covered in this resourceful article, that highlight’s social media’s history along with summaries of the various platforms that continue to evolve:

  • Precursors to Social Media: Usernets, BBSs (Bulletin Board Systems), IRC, ICQ, and Instant Messaging
  • Early Social Networks: Dating Sites, Forums, Six Degrees (the first modern social network) and Live Journal
  • Major Advances in Social Networking: Friendster, Hi5, LinkedIn, MySpace and Facebook
  • Other Major Social Networks: Multiply (family friendly social network), Orkut (Google’s social network), Kontain (allowing users to follow each other through photos, videos, and music, rather than just simple status updates)
  • Niche Social Networks: Ning, Media Sharing, Photobucket. Flickr, YouTube, Revver
  • Social News and Bookmarking: Delicious, Digg, Reddit
  • Real Time Updates: Twitter, Posterous, Tumblr,
  • Lifestreaming and Lifecasting:,, FriendFeed, WP Lifestream

Click the following link to read the article, pass it along to your clients: The History and Evolution of Social Media

Some additional resources:

photo credit: ABC Archives via photopin cc

About Michael Gass

Consultant | Trainer | Author | Speaker

Since 2007, he has been pioneering the use of social media, inbound and content marketing strategies specifically for agency new business.

He is the founder of Fuel Lines Business Development, LLC, a firm which provides business development training and consulting services to advertising, digital, media and PR agencies.


  1. Great article! I really enjoyed the breakdown. What magnificent changes have happened to the ad agency in the last 25 years!

  2. Thanks Brandon. Very much appreciated.

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