Social media networks have been around for a long time in various shapes and sizes. From the original bulletin board system to newer apps like TikTok and Cloak, social media has come a long way in the last few decades. With that being said, let’s go over the history of social media networks starting with bulletin board systems.

Bulletin board systems

Back in the 1980s and 90s, bulletin board systems gave people the ability to share text-based messages, posts, and files using a terminal program. In order to connect, you would have needed to dial-in directly via an analog telephone modem. Sounds pretty old school, right? A bulletin board system, also known as “BBS”, is referred to as the original computer-based social network.


In 2003, Friendster came along and paved the way for what modern social media would look like. Developed by Jonathan Abrams, a Canadian computer programmer, Friendster allowed people to appear as themselves online and socialize with others. At the same time, people could make new friends and message one another. When the network’s momentum started falling because of server issues and rising bugs within their platform, Myspace and Facebook took over.

Facebook app icon in 3D

Myspace and Facebook

At the time, Myspace and Facebook also allowed people to share status updates, post photos, and message friends. In their early years, both networks attracted different demographics and were able to handle their incoming traffic and bugs a lot better than Friendster could. Myspace encouraged musical artists to promote themselves and their music, while Facebook was used by college students since they required a campus email address to sign up.

Twitter app icon in 3D


When Twitter came along in 2006, it became a place to easily share quick thoughts and opinions. Twitter was unique back then because tweets could only be 140 characters or less. Nowadays, their limit is 280 characters. Consuming news became quick and easy with Twitter, as every update contained bite sized information that was easy to consume. Whenever something happens, you can find out about it right away and instantly join the conversation.

Snapchat app icon in 3D


Snapchat had a unique concept – allow people to send disappearing photos to one another. The idea of disappearing photos, fun filters, and making it easy for people to send photos, made Snapchat a big hit. When their app launched in 2011, it quickly became popular among young adults and teens.


A year later, Vine was introduced. Vine gained popularity since it was a social media app where people could create and watch 6-second video clips. Each 6-second video would loop infinitely, making it easy for people to understand and watch over and over again. The time limit made it tricky for creators, but nevertheless, they found a way to create brief skits and many viral videos. Vine struggled to grow its user base and make money, which lead to its downfall.

Yik Yak

Yik Yak was an anonymous social media app created 2013 which allowed people to see what others were saying within a 5-mile radius. In return, people could post whatever was on their mind, all while remaining anonymous. With Yik Yak no longer around, people have since turned to Cloak, an anonymous social media app which respects everyone’s privacy.

TikTok app icon in 3D


Following Vine’s idea, TikTok allowed people to easily make short, fun, looping videos. However unlike Vine, TikTok offers many filters and creative ways to edit videos. On top of that, videos can be duetted, which allow people to create videos featuring the original one posted. TikTok is well known for people dancing to trending songs.


Lastly, there’s Cloak, our anonymous social media app. Cloak is a place where you can be yourself and avoid everything you hate about social media.

Cloak is the best form of social media because there’s no fake, judgmental, or superficial people. Beauty standards don’t exist since people aren’t allowed to post selfies. You can’t compare yourself to others because all profiles are private, all posts are anonymous, and follower counts don’t exist.

Download Cloak on iOS or download Cloak on Android today!