Flashback: What Social Was Like in 2010 vs. 2020

Social networking as we know it was born in the 00s, but the last decade has seen the rise of social media’s true potential. From sharing life experiences in real time to virtual shopping with augmented reality, social media has become a part of everyday life for most people in the world, including those who were born well before the dawn of the internet. As we look forward and wonder what’s in store for the next 10 years, let’s take a look back at what our favorite social media networks looked like in 2010.

Facebook – 2010

  • The now dominant social network celebrates its 6th birthday.
  • Facebook introduces liking individual comments.
  • “Poking” is still weirdly popular (and is still around today, though much less prominent).
  • Facebook becomes the 3rd largest web company in the US behind Google and Amazon, where it still sits in 2020.
  • Facebook reaches 500 million users, making it the biggest and fastest growing social network.
  • The Social Network film comes out and is met with widespread critical acclaim and commercial success, though it is considered largely inaccurate by Mark Zuckerberg.
Credit: Shareaholic

Twitter – 2010

  • Popularity massively spikes to over 100 million new users, firmly establishing the network’s place in social media.
  • Twitter’s logo Larry the Bird undergoes a makeover, becoming a sleek silhouette very similar to what Twitter uses today. However, the name Larry has since been laid to rest in favor of simply referring to the logo as “the Twitter Bird”. RIP Larry.
  • Twitter launches Promoted Tweets and Promoted Accounts.
  • NASA astronaut T.J. Creamer posted the first live off-Earth tweet from the International Space Station on January 22, 2010. By November 2010, the astronauts’ communal account (@NASA_Astronauts) was posting an average of 12 tweets per day.
  • Roughly 65 million tweets are posted each day (about 750 tweets per second).
  • The interface is completely revamped, allowing people to view photos and videos natively as Twitter enables YouTube and Flickr compatibility.

YouTube – 2010

  • YouTube is serving more than 2 billion videos a day.
  • The 5-star system is abandoned in favor of the thumbs up/down rating system, still in use today.
  • The 15-minute time limit is removed.
  • The most watched video of 2010 is the Bedroom Intruder Song (Hide yo’ kids, hide yo’ wife). (Bonus: The first video to hit one billion views was Psy’s “Gangnam Style” in 2012. Yes, really.)
  • YouTube introduces 4K video support.
  • The video description and channel information are moved from the right side of the page to underneath the video, where they remain to this day.

Instagram – 2010

  • Instagram is launched to the public as a mobile iOS app in October 2010, becoming the top free photo-sharing app on the first day and gaining 25,000 users. The app gains one million users in the first two months, and 10 million in its first year.
  • The platform differentiates itself from other photo sharing platforms by offering a number of photo filters.
  • The first Instagram post is posted by Mike Krieger on July 16, 2010 at 5:26 PM. (Bonus: the first puppy post is uploaded later that day by Kevin Systrom.)
  • Hashtags don’t exist for the first few months (they don’t make their debut on Instagram until 2011).

Honorable Mentions

These social networks have made such an impact on our lives that it doesn’t seem possible they are less than 10 years old.

  • Pinterest (launched to the public in 2011)
  • Snapchat (launched in 2011)
  • Google+ (launched in 2011, ended in 2019)
  • Vine (launched in 2013, ended in 2017)
  • Bonus: MySpace (largely abandoned by 2010. RIP.)

Social Predictions for the Next Decade

  • TikTok will continue its meteoric rise for the next few years, evolving to incorporate more advertising and becoming a focal point of social strategies for many brands, but will be eventually abandoned like its predecessor Vine.
  • Shopping and buying directly through social media platforms will become the new norm.
  • Augmented reality will become a staple in many brands’ shopping experience.
  • Instagram will allow links in captions and comments.
  • IGTV and Facebook TV will become their own entities with standalone apps, leading to their own original series, similar to YouTube, Netflix, etc.
  • Facebook’s growing popularity will plateau as younger generations gravitate towards newer platforms, but the network will still reign supreme as one of the top social media sites.

What are your predictions for social in the next 10 years? Let us know in the comments! Need help planning your social strategy for the new year? Contact us here.

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