By Stephanie McKinney

Social media has become an integral part of our lives. It affects how we communicate with each other, how we share our experiences and how we do business.

In honor of Throwback Thursday, join MP&F for a walk down memory lane through the history of social media. Here are just a few moments that we found to be meaningful.

The Evolution of Social Media

Of course this is just a brief glimpse. We can’t forget milestone developments such as Compuserve, Bulletin boards, Usenet, AOL, Tumblr, Blogger, Pinterest and Google+.

Today, social communities are created around subjects – Goodreads for books, Spotify for music. Others emerge with a single purpose like Snapchat for 10-second images and Instagram for artistic images of everyday life.

As the evolution of social media continues and new networks arrive on the scene, remembering the earliest social networks and how far we’ve come might make us all more eager to explore and share.

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Facebook’s strength is quickly becoming a weakness. The very thing that made Facebook so popular, the ability to connect with nearly every real person you know in a single place, is what has many users up in arms against the site as it continues to grow.

Facebook’s latest growth strategy, expanding its influence on the Web through its Open Graph project, isn’t the first time users have complained about how the site handles their personal information. It is yet another episode where users don’t feel safe, though, and it’s coming at a time when Facebook has surpassed Google as the most popular place to spend time on the Web. A privacy problem for a site that is nearing 500 million active users, even users who are spending more and more time talking to each other, isn’t something to be taken lightly.

Does any of this sound familiar? While the details are different, Facebook’s growing trust deficit is starting to sound like the kind of trouble that ultimately torpedoed MySpace, the social network that once was king. How Facebook responds and what it does to regain its users’ trust will determine its fate: Whether it dwindles into obscurity or rebounds toward continued success. For now, we’ll have to wait and see.