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19 Of The First Things To Ever Happen On The Internet

The internet wasn't invented in a day, people!

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1. The first time anyone sent a tweet.

Twitter: @jack

On March 21, 2006, co-founder of Twitter Jack Dorsey hammered out 24 characters of his 140-character limit to craft the world's first tweet. Ten years later, Twitter has established itself as a major form of communication among its over 300 million users!

2. The first video to be uploaded to YouTube.

View this video on YouTube

youtube.com

"Me at the zoo" was uploaded to YouTube on April 23, 2005, by the site's co-founder Jawed Karim. Today, YouTube has over 1 billion users and has fundamentally altered the way we consume media.

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3. The first photo to be uploaded to the World Wide Web.

en.wikipedia.org

In 1992, computer scientist Tim Berners-Lee was working on a small project that he called "the World Wide Web." When a rock group known as Les Horribles Cernettes was approached by Berners-Lee to contribute to his project, they had no clue that their photo would become the first picture ever to be uploaded to the World Wide Web.

4. The first picture ever posted on Instagram.

instagram.com

At a lone taco stand in Todos Santos, Mexico, Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom snapped this picture of his adorable puppy and uploaded it to Instagram in July, 2010. Here's the thing — Instagram wouldn't make its public debut until three months after this picture was made. Which makes this photo the first-ever Instagram in the world!

5. The first webpage on the internet.

info.cern.ch

Remember that Tim Berners-Lee character who uploaded the first picture to the World Wide Web? Well, in 1991, Berners-Lee also thought it might be helpful if there was one central place where users could learn how to use the World Wide Web. Thus, the first ever webpage was born!

6. The first ".com" domain to be registered.

symbolics.com

31 years ago, in 1985, a Massachusetts-based computer manufacturer by the name of Symbolics registered the domain symbolics.com. While the company has since gone under, the domain is still up and running as the oldest ".com" on the internet.

7. The first item ever sold on eBay.

ebay.com

In 1995, backwhen eBay was called AuctionWeb, its owners set out to test the new website by listing a broken laser pointer for sale. Much to their surprise, the laser pointer was quickly purchased by someone for $14.83. Confused, the owners asked the customer if they knew that the laser was broken. When the customer replied, "I'm a collector of broken laser pointers," they knew they were onto something big.

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8. The first product ever sold on Amazon.

quora.com

On April 3, 1995, an unsuspecting customer named John Wainwright purchased a copy of Hofstadter's Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies from a new online bookstore called Amazon. Little did Wainwright know that his purchase would be the first for a company that has essentially changed the way we shop for goods.

9. The first webcam to actually stream live.

cl.cam.ac.uk

Coffee is the essential fuel for any computer scientist. Which is why in 1991, researchers at the University of Cambridge were in total distress to find themselves working on a different floor from the building's coffee machine, many times traversing flights of stairs only to arrive at an empty pot.

They solved this problem by connecting a camera to a frame-grabber, developing a simple program to capture the images, and putting together a client program that would display a small thumbnail of the coffeepot in real time. Not only could they now keep an eye on the coffee at all times, but they also unintentionally designed the world's first-ever webcam!

10. The first documented use of emoticons.

cs.cmu.edu

Seeing faces in inanimate objects is human nature. But the first time anyone ever suggested that computer text be used as facial expressions was in 1982 by a computer scientist named Scott Fahlman. ;-)

11. The earliest surviving Wikipedia edit.

en.wikipedia.org

According to a Wikipedia page called "Wikipedia's oldest articles," when the website switched from its Phase I software to Phase II, it unintentionally lost all of its early history. Remarkably, in 2010, the Wikimedia Foundation discovered a cache of this missing data, including this earliest surviving Wikipedia edit from 2001.

12. The first online multiplayer game.

british-legends.com

Way before World of Warcraft, there was only Multi-User Dungeon, also known as MUD1 — the oldest virtual world in existence. The game was created in 1978 by Roy Trubshaw and Richard Bartle at the University of Essex and features an entirely text-based gameplay that invites players into a magical world of wizards, treasure, and adventure. It's also still playable today!

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13. The first ad banner to spam a webpage.

thefirstbannerad.com

Those annoying popups and banner ads had to start somewhere. On Oct. 27, 1994, the website Wired.com, which was then known as HotWired, launched an AT&T advertisement with 10 simple words: "Have you ever clicked your mouse right here? You will." Advertising has never been the same since.

14. The first internet search engine.

archie.icm.edu.pl

Eight years before Google was created, Alan Emtage, a student at McGill University in Montreal, developed the first search engine, called Archie, in 1990. Today, the website is still maintained for historical purposes by the University of Warsaw's Interdisciplinary Centre for Mathematical and Computational Modelling.

15. The first LiveJournal entry on the internet.

brad.livejournal.com

Like many internet firsts, this one begins with just a few simple words: "this is a test." LiveJournal paved the way for how we use social media today and, like Brad Fitzpatrick's first few lines in 1999 express, is a reminder that sometimes it's difficult to know when you're breaking new ground on the internet.

16. The first Facebook profile page.

Flickr: niallkennedy

Fast-forward five years after the launch of LiveJournal and you'll find a new social media giant: Facebook. Since the first three Facebook accounts were only tests, the first actual Facebook page is attributed to lucky number four — none other than Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg.

17. The first email to ever be sent.

Miguel Riopa / AFP / Getty Images

In 1971, computer programmer Ray Tomlinson sent a few messages to himself from one machine to another using the "@" symbol for direction. He recalls, "The test messages were entirely forgettable.... Most likely the first message was QWERTYIOP or something similar." What Tomlinson didn't realize was that he had just made history by sending the world's first email.

18. The first unsolicited commercial email (aka SPAM).

computerhistory.org

Seven years after Tomlinson sent the first emails, another internet milestone was reached — the sending of the first email spam. At the time, there were only several hundred users on the internet's precursor, known as ARPANET. Still, each one of those users received an unsolicited invitation to a tech presentation being hosted in Southern California. Our email inboxes have never been the same since.

19. And finally, the first article ever published on BuzzFeed!

buzzfeed.com

According to BuzzFeed's editorial director and keeper of all knowledge that is Buzz, Mr. Jack Sheperd, the first ever BuzzFeed article was a short write-up on a super cute PSP video game called LocoRoco.

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