2014 has been a year of Internet milestones. So far this year, the World Wide Web turned 25, Facebook celebrated its 10th anniversary and Twitter turned 8. This calls for a party … or at least it gives me an excuse to pretend I’m qualified to hand out social media superlatives to celebrate how far we’ve come. Let’s get to it.
Best All Around: Facebook
Say what you will about Facebook’s waning popularity, you can’t argue with the statistics. With more than 1 billion users, five new profiles created every second and 4.5 billion “likes” per day, there’s no arguing that Facebook is still the king of social media.
Most Likely To Succeed: Twitter
Though Twitter doesn’t have as many users as Facebook, it has proven to be as — if not more — influential. Twitter has become completely embedded in the fabric of our lives. From news reporting and gathering to fighting crime, the uses for Twitter continue to multiply. Television shows, commercials and pop culture events have embraced Twitter, as evidenced by the hashtags and handles that have become near permanent fixtures in the corners of your TV screen.
Best Looking: Tie between Pinterest and Instagram
Pinterest and Instagram are very good at making us feel bad about the food we’re eating, the clothes we’re wearing, the way our homes are decorated and the beautiful places we aren’t visiting. Despite the guilt factor, both social platforms have continued to expand in popularity and reach, now boasting impressive user counts: 70 million and 150 million users respectively. Along with the best looking content, Pinterest and Instagram also boast the best user experiences. Their simple, highly intuitive designs have since served as the (dare I say) p-inspiration for many other websites.
Best (Worst?) Smile (Selfie?): Snapchat
The photo sharing platform Snapchat was released in September 2011. Today, more than 400 million photos are shared through the app daily. Snapchat appeals primarily to a younger demographic, allowing users to share photos for a short amount of time before they disappear into the oblivion that is the cloud. No word on what percentage of these photos are selfies, but I’m willing to bet it’s somewhere between 99 and 100 percent.
Most Talkative: WhatsApp
This wildly popular messaging app took center stage in February when Facebook bought the platform for … wait for it … 19 BILLION DOLLARS. After doing a little research on the service, I can see why Facebook shelled out the big bucks. Seventy percent of WhatsApp’s 430 million users are active, and 50 billion messages are shared every day.
What a difference a decade makes. In 2004, Facebook sat humbly at thefacebook.com and Myspace was the dominant social network. These other social platforms had probably not yet entered the minds of their eventual founders.
So where will we be in 2024? Will new platforms have taken over? Will Snapchat photos come back to haunt us? How will new technology change the face of social media? Will Ellen’s epic selfie still hold the record of most retweets?
Given how far we’ve come in the past 10 years, it’s hard to fathom where we’ll be a decade from now. But one thing is for sure — we’ll still be trying to eat, dress and decorate like the photos we see on Pinterest.