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360° in March 2005, Bebo in July 2005, Twitter in July 2006, Tumblr in February 2007, and Google in July 2011.The idea that social media are defined by their ability to bring people together has been seen as too broad a definition, as this would suggest that the telegraph and telephone were also social media – not the technologies scholars are intending to describe.Between the middle 1980s to the middle 1990s, BBSes numbered in the tens of thousands in North America alone.Message forums (a specific structure of social media) arose with the BBS phenomenon throughout the 1980s and early 1990s.
The variety of stand-alone and built-in social media services currently available introduces challenges of definition; however, there are some common features: Users typically access social media services via web-based technologies on desktop, computers, and laptops, or download services that offer social media functionality to their mobile devices (e.g., smartphones and tablet computers).
In a social media context, content or websites that are "viral" (or which "go viral") are those with a greater likelihood that users will reshare content posted (by another user) to their social network, leading to further sharing.
In some cases, posts containing controversial content (e.g., Kim Kardashian's nude photos that "broke the Internet" and crashed servers) or fast-breaking news have been rapidly shared and re-shared by huge numbers of users.
Before long, most major cities had more than one BBS running on TRS-80, Apple II, Atari, IBM PC, Commodore 64, Sinclair, and similar personal computers.
The IBM PC takes us to 1981, with a host of both Mac and PCs being used throughout the 1980s.
At the same time, the total time spent on social media sites in the U. across PCs as well as on mobile devices increased by 99 percent to 121 billion minutes in July 2012 compared to 66 billion minutes in July 2011.