The History of the Internet

The History of The Internet

The Internet is something that we take for granted in our everyday lives. Over the past four decades, it become an integral part of our society that connects people around the world. Without the internet, the world would be a very different place.

But how did this incredible piece of technology develop into what it is today? Continue reading to find out!

The Beginning

The story of internet begins in the early 1970’s. Since the first commercial computers became available in the 1950’s, there was an ever increasing need to share information between them. In 1969, The US Department of Defence funded the development of a new data sharing network called ARPANET. ARPANET used a packet-switched network that enabled access to remote computers. This new technology laid the foundations for the Internet we see today.

ARPANET expanded rapidly, and as more and more computers joined the network a new standardised method was required to connect computers around the world. In 1974, a new method of connection was invented called “Transmission Control Protocol” This new protocol allowed ARPANET to go global. This created a new, global system of “interconnected networks” or internet for short.

Surfing the Web

On January 1st, 1989, Timothy Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web. This was a new way to access the internet that made it easier for users to navigate the internet via web pages or websites as we know them today. When the World Wide Web was first created, there were no search engines like Google, so to access a certain web page you were required to enter a URL or follow a hyperlink from an existing website.

Search Engines

As explored above, the internet wasn’t always as easy to navigate as it is today. In 1990, the first content searching tool “Archie” was created. Archie allowed users to search for the titles of files but was limited as users didn’t have the option to search for the content within each page.

In 1993, the first popularised search engine emerged: Yahoo Directory. Yahoo inspired others to create more search engines – and it became a competition to see who could be the most popular. As a result, more search engines like Northern Light, Excite, Infoseek, Iktomi were created.

Google was founded in 1998 but didn’t begin to rise in popularity until 2000. Since then, other search engines such as Bing and Ecosia have risen in popularity.

However, Google is still the most popular search engine in the world boasting 3.5 billion searches per day!

Social Media

The first social media platform emerged in 1997. “Six Degrees” allowed users to connect with each other, send messages, create a friends list and post updates. This set the precedent for what social media would evolve into in years to come.

The first popularised social media platform was Friendster, which was founded in 2002. One year later, LinkedIn was created to connect business around the world. 2004 saw the launch of two of the most well know social media platforms, Myspace and Facebook.

Myspace was overtaken in popularity by Facebook in 2008, which is now the most popular social media in the world with over 2.7 billion active users.

Twitter was created in 2006, and visual social media platform Instagram was created in 2010.

More recently in 2016, video sharing platform TikTok has risen to become one of the most popular social media platforms with over 689 Million active users.

The internet connects millions of people around the world. If you would like to gain a deeper insight about the internet, why not have a look at some of our online courses? We have courses that cover social media, Online Marketing, Cyber Security and more!