The 2010’s, Decade of Social Media!

Katie Patrick

Social media has undoubtedly taken over our world. All of the scrolling, swiping and tapping has brought us so much entertainment throughout the past decade. Take a minute and think about 10 years ago…vine was yet to be realized and the iPhone 4 was the phone to have. News Feeds were not full of ads and there was no such thing as a “social media influencer.” Social media was overall more straightforward. Let’s go back 10 years and start at the beginning...

2010-2012:  According to USA Today, In 2010 Facebook was the largest social media platform; though it was created in 2004, it hit its peak in 2010. At the beginning of 2010, Facebook's major feature was “the wall” where you would leave a message to a friend. Physics teacher, Mr. Romano, remembers Facebook at this time as a “clean up from myspace” and goes on to say that his favorite feature was that you could play games, and he remembers doing “poking” wars with his friends. 

By the end of 2010, Facebook had 350 million users because of new features including the like button and the ability to tag friends in posts and comments. As Facebook was at its all-time high, students in our community were roughly ages 5-9, which implies that they were probably not active on the platform. However, most students are familiar with the platform but never had a reason to get it, seeing that in 2012 Facebook bought Instagram which “is essentially the Facebook for Gen Z, while Facebook is for our parent’s generation” says Grace Murphy ‘21.


Facebook spent $1 billion and bought Instagram, which at the time was just a way to share photos and play with filters on the app. The first couple of years of the app were the “innocent” years of the app where it was not about followers and likes, more just posting photos to your friends to see without all of the special fancy features. Overall, these years were the root of what grew throughout the decade. 

2013-2015:  The Pew Research Center claims that in 2013 about 42% of online adults were using multiple social media networking sites, Facebook, still being the number one, bought Snapchat and WhatsApp, essentially giving them “full power” over the social media market. In 2014, the most used platforms were Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn which started to offer paid advertising making these apps become a place for business for some people. The idea of paid advertising started the trend of “quality content,” which made social media more competitive than it ever had been before. 

SocialMediaToday says that by 2015, nearly half of the world’s population was active on social media. Snapchat, which was released in 2011, had officially taken over the younger generation in 2013 when it hit 10 billion users. Snapchat never thought that they would become so popular so fast because they did not think that the idea of photos disappearing after a couple of seconds would grab people’s attention right away. Student Ana Bach says “I feel like when I first got a Snapchat I wanted to Snapchat as many people as I could and have as many streaks as I could and they were always coming out with new features, which I felt was  why the app was so drawn to young people and so popular.”  

2016-2019: In 2016, Facebook's strong reputation started to go downhill. Facebook got slammed for spreading fake news about elections and incorrectly calculating videos average watch times. This being one of the reasons, Instagram was the most used app by 2017. 2017 started a rivalry between Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook because they all had the Livestream feature and they all wanted a balance between paid advertisers and normal users using that feature. In 2018, all of these platforms were out with new updates and features every month. They were not even considered “special features' ' anymore because every social media app had roughly the same ones. It is said in 2016-2019 that the number of social media users has not shifted dramatically, usually 9% more users every year. 

According to two juniors Olivia Wood and Brooke Kurtz, their favorite apps from the past couple of years have been Snapchat, Vsco, and Tik-Tok. In 2019, Tik Tok completely took off globally with millions of young people. This app lures users too endless entertainment as it is short-form video content and it is very easy to go viral on it which attracts the younger generation. Brooke Kurtz ‘21 says that “I think tik-tok will eventually fade, it is just a way for teenagers to learn fun dances and start new trends people will get bored of it.” 

Overall 2019, brought apps to where they are right now. Seeing the dramatic change from 2010-2020 only hopes that by 2030 our world will be even more advanced.