The World Wide Web: Then and Now

World Wide Web

To young people like you, it probably seems like the world wide web has always been here, making it possible to communicate with other people around the world and supplying information almost instantaneously.

The first inklings of the Internet date back more than 45 years with military funding of a special network called ARPANET. As technology grew, the Internet was born. At first, the Web was basic and even difficult to use due to its slow connections.

Today, it’s fast and diverse. In 2015, the Internet population reached more than 3 billion users, and this number is growing every day!


World Wide Web: A Timeline

1957: The USSR launches Sputnik, putting pressure on the U.S. to create new technologies.

1958: Researchers with Bell Labs invented the modem, which made it possible to communicate between computers.

1963: The American Standard Code for Information Exchange was designed, which made it possible for computers made by different companies to share information.

1964: Data communication took another step forward with the creation of message blocks and packet-switching.

1966: The ARPANET project launched, which served as the foundation for the future Internet.

1967: The first flight simulator was developed, which could be used on standard computers.

1969: Networked computers sent the first data packets between them.

1972: A man named Ray Tomlinson invented the first email program, created to send messages through a network.

1973: Bob Metcalfe worked with a partner to invent the Ethernet, which helped connect computers.

1973: ARPANET had its first international connection between two European colleges.

1974: A group began working on the first domain names, including .com, .edu, and .gov.

1974: The term “Internet” was created and used for the first time ever.

1979: The Internet Architecture Board was created to oversee various activities and standards.

1982: Asia connected to the Internet, thanks to Professor Kilnam Chon.

1983: Paul Mockapetris succeeded in expanding the Internet beyond just the academic world with the invention of the domain name system.

1984: An email traveled from the United States to Germany for the first time.

1987: Southern Africa became connected to the Internet.

1988: Problems with Internet congestion were resolved with the creation of new algorithms.

1989: The World Wide Web was created by Tim Berners-Lee.

1989: The Wide Area Information Server was designed, which worked as a type of basic search engine.

1991: Linus Torvalds designed Linux and worked to support open source software options.

1991: Al Gore designed a bill to help fund high-tech computing and communications.

1991: The public had access to the World Wide Web for the first time.

1995: A new audio format was developed, called MP3.

1995: Amazon was created and began Internet sales.

1996: Emails in the United States passed regular postal mail in numbers.

1996: One of the first viral videos began circulating the Internet: a video of a dancing baby.

1997: People were able to view the Sojourner rover as it landed on and explored Mars.

1997: Netflix began as a company. They started by mailing DVDs to customers.

1998: The first company designed to fight against spam was created.

1997: was registered as an Internet domain.

1998: Blogs made their first appearance on the Internet.

1999: The Mozilla Foundation was founded, which was the first step toward providing open source Internet applications for people.

1999: Craig Newmark created a new company called Craigslist to help people buy and sell items on the Internet.

2001: Wikipedia launched as a free encyclopedia on the Internet.

2003: was founded as one of the first social media websites.

2004: Mark Zuckerberg launched Facebook with 1,200 Harvard students signing up during the first day of service.

2004: Mozilla released Firefox 1.0 to the public.

2005: Broadband Internet connections passed dial-up Internet connections.

2005: YouTube was created and opened on February 14.

2006: The first Tweet was sent when Twitter launched.

2007: The first iPhone was released by Apple, beginning the smartphone craze that would allow people to access the Internet while on the go.

2008: Apple opened the App Store to sell applications.

2009: Bing launched as a search engine to compete with Google.

2010: China led the world in number of Internet users with more than 450 million people connecting.

2010: Instagram and Pinterest launched as websites that let people share photos.

2011: The royal wedding in the United Kingdom took top honors as the biggest event ever streamed live over the Internet.

2012: The Internet Hall of Fame was born with 33 members inducted into it.