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A Look Back At How Social Media Has Evolved In The Past Decade


Here at activ Digital Marketing we’ve been looking back over the last 10 years of social media and what a rollercoaster-ride decade this industry has been.  Social media has undergone significant evolution, with new platforms emerging and existing platforms adapting to changing user preferences and technological advancements. 

Social Media placed digital marketing as a service that cannot be overlooked in a strategic digital marketing plan. With some unexpected nostalgia, this article looks back at  some of the notable developments in popular social media platforms.

It doesn’t take much to wax lyrical about social media, here at activ Digital Marketing HQ we threw the question out there about how we think social media has changed in the past 10yrs and cue an avalanche of what people use, what they prefer, what they used to enjoy and how it’s changed and the inevitable cringe moments when we all recollected some old personal posts. Interestingly, when we discussed social media from a business/marketing standpoint, the discussion was actually quite different, highlighting the importance of separating our thoughts on the tool as an individual/personal account and as a marketeer. 


Facebook remains one of the largest and most influential social media platforms. In the past decade, Facebook has introduced several new features and functionalities, such as live video streaming, reactions (beyond just “liking” posts), and the ability to follow public figures. Facebook has also faced scrutiny regarding privacy concerns and misinformation on its platform.


Instagram has experienced substantial growth over the past decade. It started primarily as a photo-sharing platform and expanded to include short videos (15 seconds initially, then extended to 60 seconds). In 2016, Instagram launched Instagram Stories, allowing users to share temporary content that disappears after 24 hours, heavily influenced by Snapchat’s format. Instagram has also introduced features like IGTV (long-form video), Reels (short video format similar to TikTok), and shoppable posts.


Twitter has remained a popular platform for real-time news updates (despite lots of unrest in 2023) and public conversations. While its core functionality of limited character posts (initially 140 characters, then expanded to 280) remains largely the same, Twitter has introduced features like threaded conversations, the ability to add images, videos, and GIFs to tweets, and an algorithmic timeline. Twitter has also faced challenges related to combating harassment and misinformation- we’ll just say, watch this space as it feels like Twitter isn’t perhaps the solid ship it used to be.


TikTok has witnessed explosive growth and has become a dominant platform, particularly among younger demographics. It allows users to create and share short videos set to music, often featuring creative editing and effects. TikTok’s algorithmic “For You” page showcases personalised content recommendations, contributing to its addictive nature. The platform has sparked trends, challenges, and the rise of influential content creators.


Threads is a messaging app created by Instagram. It aims to facilitate private and close group communication among users, particularly close friends. Threads focuses on sharing photos, videos, messages, and statuses with a user’s designated inner circle. It allows for auto-status updates based on a user’s location, activity, and battery level. Threads emphasises privacy and intimacy in comparison to broader social media platforms. It’s still early days for this new platform and here at activ Digital Marketing we’re keeping a close eye, to see where the new Threads takes off and how it could be utilised in a strategic digital marketing strategy.

Overall, social media platforms have evolved by incorporating new features, embracing multimedia content, and leveraging algorithms for personalised experiences. The rise of short-form video content, increased emphasis on visual storytelling, and the impact of influencers have been notable trends shaping the social media landscape in the last decade. Offering Digital Marketing as a service means we at activ have to stay up to date on all aspects of social media, keeping up with the speed of change is sometimes difficult but it’s clear that social media is now at the forefront of almost all business marketing strategy and the days when it was an added extra are long gone. Social media is now a full-time manager level role in strategic digital marketing.

Find out how activ Digital Marketing can assist your business with social media at

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