The Web is turning 30 years old this year

Thirty years has led to a lot of changes in the World Wide Web where we've seen it evolve from a static to full of activity and creativity. As we celebrate another anniversary, we will look at some of the events and milestones that have helped the web to change into what is today.

March 1989

Tim Berners-Lee writes his initial proposal of what was to become the World Wide Web1. The project was based on the concept of hypertext to facilitate sharing and updating information among researchers at CERN.

1990

The first web server and web site goes live. Hosted on Tim Berners-Lee’s NeXT computer, it described the basic features of the web and how it could be used.


August 1991

The first browser and editor, WorldWideWeb (later renamed Nexus), is released to the public by way of Internet newsgroups.

October 1991

Linus Torvalds creates Linux as a free operating system kernel. Eventually this would become the de facto OS for web servers worldwide..

April 1993

CERN makes its Web technology available on a royalty-free basis. Royalty demands for competing information retrieval systems such as Gopher contributed to the adoption of CERN’s World Wide Web..

Septembar 1993

The National Center for Supercomputing Applications releases versions of the Mosaic browser for Windows and Macintosh. It was one of the first to display text and images together and its availability on popular OSes opened the Web to those outside computer science.

1994

Beverly Hills Internet (BHI) starts Geocities, which allows users to create their own websites modeled after types of urban areas.


March 1994

Yahoo! (formerly Jerry's Guide to the World Wide Web) goes online as a directory of other websites, organized in a hierarchy or layers of subcategories.

April 1994

WebCrawler goes online as the first Web search engine to provide full text search. At launch its database contained pages from just over 4000 different Web sites.

October 1994

Mosaic Netscape is born and subsequently renamed Netscape Navigator. At its peak it held over a 90% market share.

October 1994

W3C is founded. This became the official body for the governing of Internet and worldwide web standards like HTML and CSS.


1995

Sun Microsystems releases first public implementation of Java 1.0. Major web browsers soon incorporated the ability to run Java applets within web pages, ushering the first wave of "Rich Internet Applications".


March 1995

The WikiWikiWeb becomes the first ever wiki, or user-editable website.

September 1995

eBay is born as AuctionWeb as a side hobby of French-born Iranian-American computer programmer Pierre Omidyar. One of the first items sold on AuctionWeb was a broken laser pointer for $14.83.

September 1995

Netscape Navigator 2.0 ships with LiveScript, subsequently renamed JavaScript.

October 1995

After beginning operations in July 1995, Amazon.com announces itself publicly as the "world's largest bookseller" with more than one million different titles.

1996

Although Internet Explorer 1 made its debut in August 1995 as part of the Microsoft Plus! add-on package for Windows 95, it wasn't until Microsoft integrated version 2.0 with Windows 95 OSR 1 in 1996 that the browser came to quickly dominate the market.

December 1996

W3C releases the CSS level 1 recommendation.




December 1996

Macromedia buys FutureWave and FutureSplash Animator becomes Macromedia Flash 1.0 -- which became Adobe Flash in 2005. Interestingly, FutureWave approached Adobe with an offer to sell them FutureSplash in 1995, but Adobe turned them down at that time.

January 1997

W3C publishes its first recommendation for HTML — HTML 3.2.

1997

SixDegrees.com launches as one of the first moderately successful attempts at a modern social network. It lets users create profiles and list friends.

January 1998

Netscape starts the open source Mozilla project, which would years later create Firefox.

April 1998

WAP Forum releases version 1.0 of the Wireless Application Protocol, an early standard -- if clunky and limited -- for accessing information over a mobile wireless network.

September 1998

Google is founded by Larry Page and Sergey Brin.

June 1999

Napster launches its peer-to-peer file sharing service. It was mostly used for music and the ease of downloading individual songs facilitated by Napster is often credited for ushering in the end of the Album Era.

1999

Alibaba the biggest e-commerce company in Asia is founded by Jack Ma.

Also, Pyra Labs launches Blogger, one of the earliest dedicated blog-publishing tools.

April 2000

Launched a year earlier, PayPal hits 1,000,000 auctions at eBay, or about 70% of all auctions at the site.

April 2000

The .com bubble reaches its peak and promptly bursts, wiping billions off the value of technology firms in the following 18 months.

2001

Mike Bergman coins the term Deep Web to describe web content that is not indexed by standard search engines because they are either dynamically generated from queries, are unlinked or can be accessed only through an onion router such as Tor.

January 2001

Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger launch Wikipedia.

July 2001

Napster is taken down but there's no going back. File sharing is not going anywhere.

March 2002

Friendster, one of the earliest social networks, goes live and quickly attracts millions of users as well as the media's attention.

April 2003

Apple launches the iTunes music store. Windows support came in October.

May 2003

Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little launch WordPress as a fork of b2/cafelog.

June 2003

Online virtual world Second Life launches.

August 2003

Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis release Skype.

February 2004

Flickr is born, one of the bastions of what would become the so-called web 2.0.

February 2004

Facebook (then known as TheFacebook.com) launches its social network for Harvard students.

November 2004

Firefox 1.0 is released and slowly begins taking back some market share from IE.

December 2004

Digg begins operations as a social news aggregator that lets users discover, share and recommend web content.

April 2005

First YouTube, “Me at the zoo”, is uploaded. The video is still online.


2005

The term ‘Web 2.0’ enters the techie lexicon to describe the shift from websites merely pushing content to users, to users pushing their own 'user generated content' to websites.

2006

Amazon Launches Cloud Storage and Serving via S3 and EC2, creating a much faster and cheaper alternative for startups to scale their businesses than traditional web servers.

July 2006

Twitter launches and quickly gains popularity as the mobile web gets a big boost in the following year thanks to Apple. First tweet: "just setting up my twttr".

September 2006

Facebook opens up to anyone with a valid email address.

June 2007

Apple brings a full browsing experience to mobile for the first time with the release of the iPhone. Since then mobile browsing has exploded on millions of iOS and Android smartphones and tablets.

2008

Bitcoin is first introduced by a developer using the “Satoshi Nakamoto” pseudonym (or actual name?)

January 2008

The initial draft of HTML5 is introduced.

July 2008

Google counts one trillion unique URLs – after eliminating duplicate entries.

July 2008

Apple launches the App Store.

September 2008

Google launches the Chrome browser to avoid dependence on Apple, Microsoft and Mozilla. Google focused on performance and rapid development, and while it struggled to gain usage initially, by late 2012 it had surpassed IE and Firefox.

April 2009

Pirate Bay founders found guilty, get jail sentence

November 2010

Google tells Gmail users Facebook is a trap

December 2010

UK government wants to block all Internet porn

November 2010

Adobe stops mobile Flash development, will focus on HTML5

May 2011

US Judge: an IP address is not a person

April 2012

Facebook buys Instagram for $1 billion, raising awareness of how incumbents were willing to part with big dollars for mobile web pioneers and the evident shift in usage favoring smartphones.

October 2013

The 'Deep Web' gains mainstream exposure after the FBI shuts down the Silk Road, a.k.a. "the eBay of drugs."

June 2013

Edward Snowden’s disclosures about NSA’s mass surveillance programs start a conversation on what it means to be anonymous on the web.

February 2014

Facebook buys WhatsApp for $19 billion betting almost 10% of the company on mobile and instant communication.

2014

The net neutrality debate heats up as the FCC considers new rules for how the Internet works. Obama endorses net neutrality and asks the FCC to classify internet as a utility. And so the controversial and complicated issue begins...

February 2015

'Father of the Internet' Vint Cerf warns we could be heading towards a digital Dark Age.

2015

While ISPs in the developed world bring gigabit fiber to more places, repressed yet creative Cubans develop an illegal 'Internet' that connects thousands of computers.

September 2015

We've finally run out of IPv4 addresses

2015

Popular free VPN service, Hola, discovered to have malware-like behavior. Serves as a showcase of new ways to malware is distributed.

February 2016

It's now possible to run Windows 95 natively in your web browser.

September 2016

Samsung abuses DMCA to take down GTA V exploding Note 7 mod videos.

2016

Microsoft is bleeding web browser users. Chrome takes over IE.

2016

Mobile web browsing becomes more popular than desktop for the first time

2016

The rising Snapchat generation: Millennials communicate with text, but Generation Z prefers to communicate with images.

December 2016

The most common passwords of 2016 have been revealed, and they're terrible (not much has changed).

September 2017 

The Pirate Bay is using your CPU to mine crypto-currencies while you browse

2017

Researchers warn of new botnet that could take down the internet

December 2017

It's official: the FCC has killed net neutrality

2017

Infographic: the top 100 websites by popularity (in 2017)

2017

Roughly 50% of the world, about 3.6 billion people, now have some access to the internet.


Wi-Fi is everywhere: There are around 450 million Wi-Fi networks in the world, up from about 100 million five years ago.

April 2018

Browsers begin to support new web standard for password-free authentication

September 2018

The inventor of the World Wide Web has unveiled a plan for a new secure internet

2018

Over 40 percent of activity on the internet is fake

2018

Half of all phishing sites display the padlock, making people think they're safe

2019

The World Wide Web turns 30 years old, it's been one hell of a ride!

It's estimated that more than four billion people -- or close to 60% of the world's population is now online.

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