History of online communication

History of online communication

Communication is involved in everything we do each and every single day of our lives. Whether we use the way of body language, vocalizing, sign or by written words. Communication is a vital part of the being that makes us human. The way in which we communicate has gradually changed over the centuries, in fact, the technology has evolved every year. The pace of change didn’t slow down any time, still, it continues to create new ways for us to come together and share what we want to say - across borders, across cultures, across the near-infinite mural of the World Wide Web. In the article, we are going to see and learn more about the history of communications technology. So, let's dive into the deep of communications history.

The internet as we know it today traces its history back to the US Department of Defence’s Advanced Research Projects Agency’s network, launched in 1969. The first message, sent on the 29th of October that year from a computer in UCLA to one in Stanford, was intended to read “login”; however, a crash meant that only the first two letters were sent. Lo (and behold): internet communication had arrived.

In 1971, a chap by the name of Ray Tomlinson originally wrote a computer program called SNDMSG (send the message) that allowed the first email message (QWERTYUIOP) to be sent across Arpanet, the first Internet network. Chat rooms have become one of the worlds most popular online retreats. Chat rooms come in all shapes, sizes and especially topics. One of the first forms of chat rooms was IRC - Internet Relay Chat.

In 1973, Global networking becomes a reality as the University College of London (England) and Royal Radar Establishment (Norway) connect to ARPANET. The term Internet is born.

In 1974, The first Internet Service Provider (ISP) is born with the introduction of a commercial version of ARPANET, known as Telenet.

In 1978, the Computerized Bulletin Board System was launched by Ward Christensen and Randy Seuss. It allowed users to dial in (computers in those days had phone numbers, not URLs) and post messages. For the first time, normal people (well, those that could afford computers in the 70s) could chat to other normal (well, those that understood what was going on) people across the country – even across the world.

In 1980, The link between BBSs and forums, Usenet allows users to connect and post messages online and went public. Usenet is decentralised, with the entire system shared between many servers, much like peer-to-peer file-sharing networks such as BitTorrent.

In 1982, Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) and Internet Protocol (IP), as the protocol suite, commonly known as TCP/IP, emerge as the protocol for ARPANET. This results in the fledgling definition of the Internet as connected TCP/IP internets. TCP/IP remains the standard protocol for the Internet.

In 1983, the Domain Name System (DNS) establishes the familiar .edu, .gov, .com, .mil, .org, .net, and .int system for naming websites.

In 1987, Compuserve announces the GIF graphics format, with lossless compression, transparency and animation capability. Nowhere much to use it yet, however, as no World Wide Web.

In 1988, the Moving Pictures Experts Group (MPEG) is established. They develop the MPEG video compression formats used primarily on CDs / DVDs but also, to a limited extent, and much later, online.

In 1991, computer scientist Tim Berners-Lee invented “hypertext” while working at CERN. Hypertext is the virtual content with embedded links to other text – and revolutionised the way we use computers. IRC came to prominence during the 1991 Soviet coup attempt and first Gulf War, when it allowed users to receive news from areas under the media blackout, a role still filled by social media sites like Twitter.

In 1992, the first SMS messages were sent from mobile phones.

In 1994, the first Netscape browser was launched. Support was provided for the JPEG (Joint Photographic Experts Group) format for displaying photographs online. The first digital cameras were released.

In 1995, Sun Microsystems released the Java programming language, which was designed to support more sophisticated online applications than HTML could manage. The very first VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) services made it possible to communicate online using voice. The Netscape browser adds support for JavaScript, a scripting language that provides additional functionality to HTML.

In 1996, Congress passed the Communications Decency Act in an effort to combat the growing amount of objectionable material on the internet. John Perry Barlow responds with an essay, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace. In the same year, Microsoft acknowledges that the Internet will be a reality in the long-term and launch Internet Explorer, a free browser. The first instant messaging systems are launched. Microsoft launch NetMeeting, an early web conference service.

In 1997, RealMedia extends their streaming to include video. The PlaceWare Auditorium web conferencing service is launched. The term ‘weblog’ is coined. Two years later, it is first shortened to ‘blog’.

In 1998, Google is founded.

In 2001, Apple sells the first iPods. The first 3G networks provide the broadband capability for mobile phone users. In the same year launched of the Wikipedia.

In 2003, Skype introduces internet telephony. Apple launches iTunes as a way to download music tracks. And more camera phones are sold worldwide than stand-alone digital cameras.

In 2004, a year after the respective launches of MySpace and LinkedIn, Facebook emerged and quickly took college campuses by storm. Five years later, social was the epicenter of digital communication, and half of the users online actively belonged to at least one social network.

In 2005, YouTube allows video content to be shared online. This year also has seen the rise and proliferation of Wi-Fi - wireless internet communication - as well as mobile internet devices like smartphones.

In 2006, Twitter launches. The company's founder, Jack Dorsey, sends out the very first tweet: "just setting up my twttr."

In 2007, led by its brash, prodigious CEO Steve Jobs, Apple launched its first iPhone, signaling the start of today’s mobile world. By 2011, over a third of US adults had a smartphone - and with it, constant connectivity to one another, alongside access to nearly infinite information and entertainment.

In 2010, The social media sites Pinterest and Instagram are launched.

In 2015, Instagram, the photo-sharing site, reaches 400 million users, outpacing Twitter, which would go on to reach 316 million users by the middle of the same year.

In 2016, Google unveils Google Assistant, a voice-activated personal assistant program, marking the entry of the Internet giant into the "smart" computerized assistant marketplace. Google joins Amazon's Alexa, Siri from Apple, and Cortana from Microsoft.

And today, messaging apps like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger have even outgrown traditional social networks in terms of monthly active users, as mobile micro-conversations continue to reshape culture and human connectivity.

Mobile brought a new array of digital experiences to users, changing the way we communicate - even on social. Higher quality smartphone cameras pave the way for the meteoric rise of social media platforms. Together, this profound, ongoing transition in how we communicate as a society could not have been possible without the three transformative waves in search, social, and mobile pioneered by Google, Facebook, and Apple.

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