Probably in 1993 many of you reading this were not even born. The Internet had just done it, and also the World Wide Web and that great global web of websites that little by little evolved and creating winners and losers at a breakneck pace.
an animation posted on Reddit and created by a user named James Eagle does precisely a visual review of this evolution of the internet highlighting the most popular websites from 1993 to the present day. A good summary of empires that came and went… and others that remain today, of course.
(Part of) the history of the internet made bars that come and go
Names like AOL, Prodigy or Compuserve probably won’t even ring a bell for the younger generation, but they ruled the internet back in 1993. In fact AOL (America On Line) continued to do so while the era of internet directories began. Not search engines, no, directories.
This is how Yahoo!, Lycos, Excite or MSN began a dizzying race to conquer relevance in the mid-90s. It was also the time of the mythical Geocities and those creepy web 1.0 that little by little would be richer in content and design.
Animation is a good way to see how Yahoo! During much of the 2000s, it became an absolute reference despite the push of other giants such as eBay, Google, or Amazon. In 2005 the push of social networks began with MySpace showing the way while Wikipedia timidly appeared and sites like Ask and the BBC were also referents and MSN —thanks to the omnipresent Windows— was the third most visited website in the world.
Then at the end of 2007 and the beginning of 2008, two spectacular phenomena would arrive and they grew like foam: YouTube and Facebook. Local Russian and Chinese search engines (Yandex y Baidu) earned a whole lot thanks to that particular battle with Google.
Things would move little from there. Twitter would enter with force at the end of 2012 and Instagram would do so at the end of 2014, but as we say, the dominance of Google, YouTube and Facebook has only increased in recent years. It is interesting to see how other giants of social networks such as TikTok or Twitch and platforms such as Netflix have not yet entered that unique ‘top 10’, but they and other platforms may end up doing so in the future.