Social Media 2010: A Snapshot
Caro Falsett
September 24, 2021

Germany wins the ESC and takes the third place at the FIFA World Cup. Hard to believe, but that was 11 years ago. And a lot has happened in these 11 years – including in the social media sector.

Social networks as we know them were born in the 00s, but it wasn’t until the last decade that the true potential of social media became apparent. 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 around the world, including those born long before the dawn of the Internet. As we look ahead and wonder what’s in store for us in the next 10 years, let’s take a look back at what our favorite social networks looked like in 2010.


Facebook 2010

  • The now dominant social network is celebrating its 6th birthday.
  • Now you can also leave a Like on individual comments.
  • “Nudging” is still oddly popular (and still exists today, though much less prominently).
  • Facebook becomes the third largest web company in the U.S. behind Google and Amazon, where it still sits in 2020.
  • Facebook reaches 500 million users, making it the largest and fastest growing social network.
  • The movie “The Social Network” is released to widespread critical acclaim and commercial success, despite being considered largely inaccurate by Mark Zuckerberg.


Twitter 2010

  • Popularity soars massively to over 100 million new users, firmly establishing the site as a social media network.
  • The Twitter logo “Larry the Bird” is redesigned and given a sleek silhouette very similar to today’s Twitter logo. However, the name Larry has since been shelved in favor of simply referring to the logo as “the Twitter bird.”
  • Twitter introduces “Promoted Tweets” and “Promoted Accounts.”
  • NASA astronaut T.J. Creamer posted the first tweet from the International Space Station on January 22, 2010, as astronauts gained direct access to the Internet for the first time the previous week. By November 2010, the astronauts’ community account (@NASA_Astronauts) was posting an average of 12 tweets per day.
  • About 65 million tweets are posted per day (about 750 tweets per second).


YouTube – 2010

  • More than 2 billion videos are played on YouTube every day.
  • The 5-star system is abandoned in favor of the thumbs up/thumbs down rating system, which is still used today.
  • The 15-minute time limit is eliminated.
  • The most viewed video of 2010 is the Bedroom Intruder song. (Bonus: The first video with a billion views was Psy’s “Gangnam Style” in 2012).
  • YouTube introduces support for 4K videos.
  • The video description and channel information are moved from the right side to the bottom of the video, where they remain to this day.


Instagram – 2010

  • Instagram is released as an iOS mobile app in October 2010. On the first day, it becomes the top app for posting photos and gains 25,000 users. The app reaches one million users in its first two months and 10 million in its first year.
  • The platform differentiates itself from other photo-sharing platforms by offering a range of photo filters.
  • The first Instagram post is published by Mike Krieger on July 16, 2010 at 5:26 pm. (Bonus: the first dog post is uploaded later that day by Kevin Systrom).
  • Hashtags don’t exist in the first few months; Instagram doesn’t introduce them until 2011.


And what about the other networks?

These social networks have influenced our lives so much that it hardly seems possible that they are less than ten years old.


Pinterest (introduced to the public in 2011)

Snapchat (launched in 2011)

Google+ (launched 2011, end 2019)

Vine (launched 2013, end 2017)

Bonus: MySpace (largely abandoned by 2010.)


Predictions for the next decade

  • TikTok will continue its meteoric rise over the next few years, evolving to incorporate more advertising and becoming a focal point of advertising strategy for many brands.
  • Shopping via social media platforms will become the new norm.
  • Augmented reality will become an integral part of the shopping experience for many brands.
  • Instagram will enable links in captions and comments.
  • Facebook’s growing popularity will slow as younger generations gravitate to newer platforms, but the network will continue to reign supreme as one of the leading social media platforms.


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