Social Since 2010, We've Come a Long Way!

Social media has come a long way since Patio was founded in 2010! Here are the major highlights from 2010 to 2019.


Instagram and Pinterest are both launched. 

A couple of major social media platforms that we know today such as Pinterest and Instagram were launched in 2010. To put that into perspective, Patio is older than Instagram by about 5 months! Paid advertising on social platforms were limited at this time. In 2010, Facebook advertising was not as sophisticated as we know it today, so advertisers relied heavily on organic traffic. 

YouTube isn’t slowing down

YouTube is getting 34 hours of video content uploaded per minute and YouTube Live is launched. As the trend for smartphone-use grows, YouTube becomes the top video-viewing website on mobiles in the U.S. Advertisers notice YouTube’s popularity, and increases their budget for ads on the platform. This led to YouTube display ads increasing by 10 times in 2010, compared to the previous year. By the end of 2010, YouTube launches the TrueView ad format which previews 5 seconds of an ad, and allows viewers to hit skip. Advertisers are surprisingly happy as it means that they only pay when viewers don’t skip their ads. 

Growth of Smartphones and Tablets

In 2010, there is a growing use of smartphones, however, keyboard phones like BlackBerry were still highly popular. During this time, consumers were also introduced to the first-ever tablet by Apple. While the use of tablets and smartphones become increasingly popular, so does social media. 


Snapchat, Facebook Messenger, and Google + are launched.

As the popularity of social media picks up, we see platform launches and updates in 2011. Snapchat and Facebook Messenger which is still used today were launched in this year. 

The ill-fated Google+ was also launched this year with the ambition to compete with Facebook. Google + was intended to add a social layer on top of what Google already offered. For example, Google + was launched alongside with social elements like “Hangouts” for video and instant messaging, and “Circles” for social updates with close groups.

As Instagram picks up traction, Snapchat enters and disrupts the scene and quickly gains popularity. 

YouTube Gets a Major Makeover

At the end of 2011, YouTube’s new parent, Google, invests in a major redesign of the platform. One of the intentions is to create a more visitor-friendly interface with less clutter, in order to make it look more like TV.


Facebook self-serve advertising launched

Twitter and Instagram is seeing a lot of growth in 2012. That might explain why Facebook decided to acquire Instagram for approximately $1 billion. Facebook also expands their advertising options to marketers. 

Social Causes on Social Media

Social media became a platform for companies to show off the causes that they cared for. It is popular for businesses to take a stand for causes as it has helped them build loyalty with those who share the same views. 


Facebook video ads launched

As social media continues to grow in popularity, brands are starting to realize potential collaborations with influencers. 

2013 was also a big year for Facebook advertisers when the company announced “Video Ads”. To make it even easier for marketers, Facebook launched their “Lookalike audiences”. Retargeting ads are starting to appear in users’ newsfeeds. 

Vine is Launched

A lot has happened for Vine in 2013. The platform was sold to Twitter and launched in the same year. At its peak, Vine was the most downloadable free app from the Apple App store. The app later goes on to become a starting platform for many of today’s big influencers like King Bach and Logan Paul


Instagram Continues to Grow

In 2014, Instagram becomes increasingly popular. They hit 200 million active users four years after launch. Users on the platform are also highly engaged: 55 million photos were uploaded daily and 1000 comments were made per second. Brands were also excited to use the platform and were reported to “post an average of 5.5 times a week”.

The Viral ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

Remember, the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge? Well, it went viral in 2014 and it all started with Boston College’s baseball team captain who was diagnosed with ALS. Brands like Pilsbury Doughboy, Old Spice guy, and Colonel Sanders also took part in this viral sensation. 

The results? ALS saw crazy engagement in just three weeks--$31.5 million in donations,1600 percent more than the previous year 


Snapchat Launches Sponsored Filters

In 2015, the popular app, Snapchat launches sponsored filters. Businesses were able to get creative with 2D/3D interactive elements. Snapchat reported high engagement times where users spent over 15 seconds with these lenses. 

Periscope is born.

In 2015, live streaming is born. Twitter launches Periscope on the iPhone which allows brands to live stream and interact with consumers in real time. We are seeing major corporations like General Electric and Dunkin Donuts incorportes Periscope into their marketing plans.  

YouTube Caters to More Target Markets

In early 2015, the YouTube Kids app is launched to offer family-friendly content. Just a couple of months later, YouTube Gaming offers its own live game-streaming feature to compete with Twitch. And for music enthusiasts, the YouTube Music app is launched. 


Snapchat Grows and Offers Exciting Features 

Snapchat launches Snapchat Memories and its integration with Bitmojis. It also releases its Spectacles which is another way for users to capture and share their life. 

Instagram’s Popular Stories and Boomerang is Born

As Snapchat continues to gain popularity with its new updates, Instagram launches their “Stories” and Boomerang feature. Brands that took advantage of “Stories” saw great results. By June 2016, Instagram reaches 500 million active users. 

Mobile Focused

As mobile usage increases and the continued pressure from Google for websites to be mobile optimized, the focus for social media apps has shifted towards mobile experiences. In fact, apps like Snap and Instagram are only accessible on mobile. 


Vine dies…on the vine? Meanwhile...Facebook thrives.

In January 2017, Twitter officially shuts down Vine. Many creators who amassed a huge following on the platform were upset, and now have to switch platforms. 

The integration of e-commerce and social apps are also booming. Facebook leads this trend by launching their Marketplace which is essentially a buy and sell for Facebook users. 

Influencer Marketing Gains Attention

Influencer marketing started to take off in 2016. However, in 2017 we saw brands double their budget towards influencer marketing. The reason being that this tactic is seeing the second highest ROI compared to all marketing tactics. 

The Federal Trade Commission Crackdown

As more and more influencers get endorsed by brands to make sponsored posts, there is a growing need for transparency. Before the FTC’s regulation, influencers shared sponsored posts without any disclosure. When the FTC announced its Endorsement Guidelines, influencers are monitored to ensure that paid posts are disclosed by using either of the following hashtags: #sponsored #ad #promotion. These rules apply for platforms like Instagram and Twitter. Influencers who are reported for not following these regulations are subject to fines, and can face backlash for inauthenticity. 


The Importance of Social Listening

Social listening has always been around. But, in 2018, we see brands really take this seriously due to the rise of the “call out culture” on social media. It is becoming more and more popular for consumers to talk about their experiences with brands and products. Brands who don’t have a plan in place to deal with negative publicity tend to face backlash. However, not all consumer “call outs” are negative. Many consumers share products that they love. This is a tremendous opportunity for brands to build on a consumer’s loyalty and relationship with the brand.

Facebook’s Big Scandal 

2018 was not the year for Facebook due to the Cambridge Analytica Scandal. To keep it short, Cambridge Analytica misused data collected on users through Facebook. This is a huge failure from Facebook to protect user data. From this, Facebook announced updates to increase transparency and to tighten up regulations on data collection. Read TechCrunch’s article on all of Facebook’s changes following the data breach. 


The Rise of Micro-Influencers

Influencer Marketing is seeing changes. Instead of partnering with those with millions of followers, there is a shift to work with micro-influencers who have 1,000 to 90,000 followers. One of the reasons is that they see higher engagement rate which lead to conversions. They’re also relatively cost-effective compared to big influencers. For example, some micro influencers will also take free products as a way of compensation. 

Videos Dominate

Video content is king. How many times have you heard that before? Well, it’s true. Social Report’s article mentioned that “54% of internet users already watch video on a social media platform monthly…” Video content will continue to dominate, so it is worthwhile to start planning this type of content if you don’t already. 

A lot happened has over 9 years. It is important and amazing to reflect on how far our industry has come. Agencies like Patio has grown along with the industry, and we will continue to help clients stay on top of the changing landscape in the years to come. Learn more about how we can help you do that