History of Digital Marketing

Throughout the centuries there are key events that have shaped our definition of marketing and this unique form of communication between company and consumer.

Although not a new concept, marketing has evolved significantly since the start of the digital age. With the internet boom and the creation of different online mediums, digital marketing has either accompanies or has entirely replaced traditional, offline marketing.

Take a read through our interactive MintTwist Digital Timeline and discover more about these pivotal moments.

Instagram launches IGTV    

Sharing longer videos is something a lot of people have been wanting. Taking a page out of YouTube’s playbook, Instagram has created the new feature Instagram TV, an app that connects with your Instagram profile and lets you post vertical longer videos.

The idea seems interesting in theory, but it has yet to be as positively received as the app’s other Stories or Highlights features. Hopefully Instagram can find a redesign that works more seamlessly for users.

Twitter increases the tweet character count to 280    

In attempt to increase its user base, Twitter made the commendable decision to double its 140-character limit to 280. Users have been clamoring for longer text lengths for a long time, and the move by Twitter has effectively encouraged users to tweet more frequently. Despite the progressive move, users are still hoping the they’ll one day be graced with the option of an edit button.

Facebook starts blocking the use of ad blocking extensions    

Facebook has started forcing ads to appear for all users of its desktop website, even if they use ad-blocking software. The social network announced that it will change the way advertising is loaded into its desktop website to make its ad units considerably more difficult for ad blockers to detect. Vice President of Facebook’s ads and business platform Andrew “Boz” Bozworth said that, “Facebook is ad-supported. Ads are a part of the Facebook experience; they’re not a tack on.” The move risks turning off some of Facebook’s 1.7 billion monthly users who prefer not to see ads while browsing the internet.

Twitter announces that it would be discontinuing the Vine mobile app    

Twitter Inc. announced that it would discontinue the video-sharing mobile app Vine, as it moves to cut nine per cent of its workforce worldwide to keep costs down after beating Wall Street quarterly earnings expectations. The decision came on the heels of a failed attempt to sell Twitter as it fights against stagnant user growth and mounting competition from other social media platforms. The social media service said that the Vine website would stay live even after the mobile app is discontinued, giving users the chance to download and save any videos.

Yahoo discontinues its services for Windows, Mac, Linux, and Solaris    

Yahoo! announced today that it will shut down the infrastructure behind the legacy Yahoo! Messenger desktop client, after it stopped providing it as a downloadable option in April. The company stated that as of 5 August 2016, users of the Yahoo! Messenger desktop clients won’t be able to log into their accounts anymore. Despite this, the web & mobile versions continued.

Microsoft acquires LinkedIn for $26.2 billion    

Microsoft made one of its boldest moves by spending more than $26 billion on LinkedIn. It comes after a series of high-profile failures, such as Microsoft’s doomed $6 billion acquisition of the Nokia. This new deal means Microsoft can embed LinkedIn with Skype, its email system, and other enterprise products. It was later revealed that Microsoft had acquired LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman as a CEO.

Snapchat launches Discover section    

Snapchat now has a Discover feature, which will let you see content from brands like ESPN, CNN, Vice and Warner Music. Users are now able to watch daily stories compiled by artists, publishers, and even Snapchat’s own editorial staff. These stories feature full screen photos & videos, awesome long form layouts, and gorgeous advertising. This update reflects Snapchat’s goal to monetize faster.

Twitter ups its video length to 140 seconds    

Twitter, known for its 140-character limit on tweets, is now allowing users to post longer videos – of up to 140 seconds. Twitter previously restricted videos to 30 seconds, and the change highlights the company’s new push into video, an area where it lags in comparison to Facebook and YouTube

Instagram adds the Stories feature    

Instagram’s new Stories feature works very similarly to Snapchat stories. The format mixes the 10-second max display of photos and videos with the 24-hour life duration. The Stories allow for users to share content that might not be suitable for their regular Instagram feeds. It allows for people to share more content than they usually would without the risk of possibly compromising their personal profiles’ aesthetic.

YouTube Launches ‘Red’    

Subscribers of YouTube Red can pay and watch videos without having to view any ads. Users no longer have to wait 5 seconds to skip ads and watch YouTube videos with no interruption, instantaneously. 

Facebook Reaches 1 Billion Users    

In a landmark achievement, Facebook is the first social network to hit 1 billion active users in a single day. Congratulations! 

Facebook Buys WhatsApp    

Facebook bought Whatsapp, the mobile-messaging channel, for $22 billion in 2014. At the same time, the tech start-up had 400 million active users. In 2013, the platform generated $10.2 million revenue. 

Facebook Launches Video Ads    

To stay on equal footing with the various ways to advertise on social media, Facebook released a new way to advertise on the platform- premium video ads, each 15 seconds long.

Instagram Now Sells Ad Space    

Instagram started selling ads in late 2013 to top brands such as Levi’s and Disney. The advertising options include photos, video ads to direct web links.

Twitter For All    

Twitter advertising is released for all businesses, whether small, medium or large. Previous to 2013, only large companies with global followings were able to take advantage of Twitter’s advertising offer. 

Facebook Buys Instagram    

Facebook purchased Instagram, the popular photo sharing social network for $1 billion. Mark Zuckerberg stated, “We plan on keeping features like the ability to post to other social networks, the ability to not share your Instagram on Facebook if you want, and the ability to have followers and follow people separately from your friends on Facebook. This is an important milestone for Facebook because it’s the first time we’ve ever acquired a product and company with so many users. We don’t plan on doing many more of these, if any at all.”

Facebook Launches Promoted Posts    

Paying as little as $5, with Facebook’s new advertising option, advertisers are able to reach more fans to promote their page content, with promoted posts shown on the regular News Feed.

Google+ Rolls Out    

Hopping on the social media bandwagon, Google launched its own social network, Google+ in 2011. Google+ is Google’s fourth attempt at creating a popular social channel. 

Snapchat Is Launched    

Snapchat, an incredibly popular social platform with younger audiences, is launched. Snapchat is an instant image massaging channel, created by students from Stanford University. 

The Birth Of Pinterest    

Joining many other start up tech companies in Silicon Valley, Pinterest is born in March 2010. The platform revolves around photo sharing, encourages its members to group ideas together in mood boards and inspires fellow registered Pinterest members. 


Tweetdeck Is Introduced    

Social media management tool TweetDeck makes managing Twitter accounts more simple. The platform allows users to schedule tweets to be pushed live automatically. It works by interfacing with the Twitter API.

YouTube Launches Advertising    

Advertising becomes YouTube’s money-maker. Being the second most used search engine after Google, YouTube has become a great platform to promote businesses and brands.