When social media started back in the late 1990s, it was primarily a place to connect with friends and family members and even reconnect with people in your life that you haven’t talked to in years.
While many people may think that MySpace was the first social media platform available, the now-defunct SixDegrees.com was one of the first social media sites that started in 1997, according to Hootsuite. Although the platform had about 1 million users, it was shut down in 2000, a few years before sites like MySpace, Friendster, and Facebook entered the scene and changed social media forever.
Social media has changed the way we get the news.
As of April 2023, almost 60 percent of the world’s population use social media, with Facebook being the most popular platform, based on data from Statista. Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter (renamed X in 2023), and TikTok have not only changed how we communicate with others but have dramatically impacted how we get the news.
For example, consider when a celebrity dies. Printed newspapers take a day to get the news out. But the news travels fast on social media. By the time you read news of the celebrity’s death in the newspaper or hear about it on the evening news, you’ve probably already seen several “RIP” posts on Facebook.
Realizing they can’t compete with the immediacy of social media, news outlets have jumped on the bandwagon with their own social media sites to deliver news to people as it happens throughout the day.
Viral stories and videos on social media have become news.
Social media also offers more than just a place to communicate with people we know and get our news. It’s used for learning, political activism, connecting with people with similar interests, marketing businesses or brands, and even finding your soulmate. For example, Instagram played a part in bringing together Prince Harry and actress Meghan Markle.
On social media, you can learn about delicious vegan recipes, eco-friendly wedding ideas, ways to get rid of invasive insects, and more from everyday people known as social media influencers. When an influencer’s post or video goes viral, their viral stories become news.
Social media influencers who build up a following eventually become celebrities themselves, and they can earn thousands, if not millions, by endorsing brands or marketing themselves as a brand. Take Anna Sacks, for example. Her @thetrashwalker videos on dumpster-diving and wasteful practices have garnered over 420,000 followers on TikTok and 91,000 Instagram followers.
The most popular social media platforms where people are going viral include:
Facebook: Facebook is the most used social media platform, with over 3 billion users.
Instagram: Facebook’s sister site has about 1.35 billion users in 2023.
TikTok: Owned by Chinese company ByteDance, TikTok has about 1.7 billion monthly active users in 2023.
YouTube: YouTube is a video social media site owned by Google with over 2.7 billion active users in 2023.
X (formerly known as Twitter): Twitter was renamed X in 2023 by new owner Elon Musk. The social media site has about 450 million active users in 2023.
Latest Social Media News and Updates
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Social Media Users Claim "Cranberry Juice Challenge" Reveals Nasty Surprise in Your DrinkA new cranberry juice challenge claims to show bugs living in your mouth. But, is it legit? Scientists say no. We did our own experiment.
Woman Aghast to Discover Coconut Water Filled With Goopy Brown Mold: "Vita Coco Gone Wrong"One woman went to social media to get a manufacturer's attention after she found mold in her container of Vita Coco coconut water.
Professional Martial Artist Faces Off With Kangaroo To Save His Beloved DogAn Australian man got the surprise of his life when a massive kangaroo put his dog in a headlock. He fought the kangaroo to save his dog.
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House Cleaner "Wants a Raise" After Finding 10,000 Flies in Rich Client's Log CabinLog homes are beautiful, cozy, and romantic. However, sometimes they attract unwanted guests. A house cleaner had the task of cleaning up a fly infestation at a client's log home.
Wild Deer With "Pet" Painted on Body and Collar Spotted in MissouriPeople love their pets, but a photo of a deer spray-painted with the word "PET" has raised questions about whether deer can be pets.
Women Are Embracing Their "Snail Girl" Eras: "My Inner Girl Boss Is Dead"A "snail girl" is the antithesis of the ambitious "girl boss" philosophy. The snail girl era embraces a slower pace of life and makes happiness a priority.
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Why This Gardener's Plant Beds Are Filled With Plastic ForksPlastic forks in the garden may keep pests like squirrels and birds away, according to one social media creator.
Shelter Rescues 400-Pound Pig After Adorable "Crime Spree" in ColoradoA 400-pound pig was rescued after going on a multi-day crime spree in Aurora, Colorado. Here's the story about this adorable offender.
People Are Shocked to Discover Red Cross Sells Donated Blood to HospitalsThe American Red Cross holds regular drives to collect blood donations, and many are starting to discover that the Red Cross actually often sells the blood it collects to hospitals.
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Landlord Tells Woman To "Get Rid of Plants" but Refuses to Address Wood Rot, Mold, and Fire HazardsA woman shares her frustration after her landlord told her to get rid of her plants but refused to address major hazards in her apartment.
Rabid Otter Bites 74-Year-Old Florida Man 41 TimesA Florida man was innocently feeding the ducks and birds behind his home when he was attacked by an otter — who turned out to have rabies.
Men Attempt to "Rescue" 10-Foot Python Who Was Spotted Dangling From WindowA viral video of two men attempting to "rescue" a python that is hanging from a window in Thane, India, may not be a rescue at all.
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PetSmart Whistleblower Exposes Animal Cruelty at the Pet SuperstoreA man claiming to be a former PetSmart employee is exposing alleged cruelty at the pet superstore.
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Viral Video Captures Vans Slashing and Dumping New Shoes on the StreetVans responded to our request for comment about the viral video.
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