Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning.
Presenting to you the growth of the renowned websites since inception in terms of look and feel.
Twitter – 2006
The site was initially callled Twttr, as the domain Twitter.com was owned by a bird enthusiast – and the founders didn’t want to fork out until they were sure it would catch on.
The site’s first tag line said, ‘If you have a cell and can txt, you’ll never be bored again…EVER!’
Built around the 140-character limit of text messaging, co-founder Biz Stone said, ‘One hundred and forty is not a magic number. But imposing a limit brought people together. It was a challenge. Edit it as you go.’
Six months later, the site was a hit, and the founders paid up and bought Twitter.com.
The Google logo was designed in 1998 by co-founder Larry Page himself, using GIMP, a free alternative to Photoshop.
The home page was built to be minimal and load quickly – although it rapidly acquired some of the extras we know today.
In August 1998, Page and co-founder Sergei Brin were heading to the Burning Man festival in Nevada – and incorporated the Man into the logo to show where the Google team would be.
It was the first-ever Google doodle.
Microsoft – 1994
Microsoft was one of the first companies to launch its own web presence in 1994 – launching when there were just a few thousand sites on the World Wide Web.
The site had just two employees when it launched, and updates for the site usually arrived on 3.5-inch floppy disks, according to Microsoft engineer Mark Ingalls.
The company put its Knowledge Base of technical advice online – and became one of the top ten most-visited sites online.
TheFacebook – 2004
When ‘TheFacebook’ first went live on February 4th 2004 in Mark Zuckerberg’s Harvard University, it was VERY different.
Each user had a photo and personal information – but there was no Like button and no News Feed, and not even a Wall for users to post messages to each other.
The site was an instant hit, reaching a million users worldwide within a year – and dropping the ‘the’ in its title in September 2005.
Wikipedia – 2001
Wikipedia first appealed for volunteers to write articles on 17 January 2001 – and there were already 1,000 articles by Monday 12 February.
A mention on the tech news website Slashdot led to thousands of new users pouring in in summer of the same year..
By September 2001, there were 10,000 articles – and by the end of its first year, 20,000.
eBay (aka AuctionWeb) – 1995
The first item sold on what would become eBay was a broken laser pointer, founder Pierre Omidyar says.
Omidyar emailed the buyer to ask if he really wanted it, and received the reply, ‘I’m a collector of broken laser pointers.’
The site was initially called ‘AuctionWeb’, part of an umbrella company called eBay Internet – but the name was changed as most customers referred to it as eBay.
Amazon – 1995
Amazon’s 1995 home page was typically minimal for the era of dial-up internet, but has some of the elements we recognise today – such as customer reviews.
It was a near-instant success after Bezos sold his first book in July 1995 – Douglas Hofstadter’s Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies – rapidly hitting sales of $20,000 per month.
Bezos said ‘I drove all the books to the shippers, UPS and the postal service, in a 1987 Blazer for the first couple of months.
‘We thought we’d just have a few orders at first and that business would build slowly, but it didn’t work that way.’
Apple – 1997
In 1997, Apple’s website was cluttered, ugly, and looked more like an IT newsletter than the portal for a major corporation.
In the wake of the return of Steve Jobs, the website quickly became far leaner and more functional.
Today, it’s fully integrated with the company’s online shopping system, and looks typically stripped-down and beautiful.
YouTube – 2005
YouTube’s bare-bones 2005 home page is in stark contrast to the multitude of video channels users see today.
The site’s first video, Me at the Zoo, was uploaded in April 2005 – and shows co-founder Jawed Karim at the zoo talking about elephants and their ‘really, really, really long trunks’.
By the summer of 2006, the site was averaging 100 million video views per month, and was bought by Google.