Technology 4 min read

The Evolution of Internet Over the Last Decade

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How has technology changed our lives in the last decade? This is a broad question that maybe needs some narrowing down.

How has the internet changed us? And perhaps, before even trying to answer this question, how has the internet itself changed?

Let’s take a look back at the evolution of the internet over the last ten years. For one, social media is a big reason why teenagers use the internet.

Evolution of Internet: 2010-2020

The internet hasn’t evolved that much over the last decade.

We can say it was a decade of consolidation rather than evolution. Much of the internet infrastructure looks much the same today compared to a decade ago.

Most of the internet is IPv4-based, which was the case a decade ago.

While officially launched back in 2012, Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) still can’t secure its due place on the internet. Even before the launch of IPv6, the internet was running out of IPv4 addresses.

From one country to the other, and one organization to the other, the reasons vary as to why the transition to IPv6 didn’t take place. But it all boils down to the transition costs.

Many manufacturing companies still have their computers running on old operating systems. The implementation of IPv6 will mean shutting down of whole factory operations and production lines while the IT architecture is being updated.

Internet infrastructures and IT architectures are still vulnerable to attacks, and until now, they’re in the middle of a transition like it was a decade ago.

If we’re looking for something that has changed on the internet over the last decade, it’s perhaps on the mobile front.

In 2010, the iPhone was just three years old. The launch of Apple’s smartphone was one of the most significant tech events that changed the face of the internet and deeply affected society.

The entry of the iPhone can be regarded as a tech revolution in and of itself. After Apple, many other companies soon followed suit.

With touch-sensitive screens, WiFi, OS, and memory, smartphones set the stage for the now-dominating mobile internet.

The Decade of Social Media

We can’t talk about the evolution of internet and connected mobile devices without bringing up social media. In fact, to say that social media dominate our lives today is a bit of an understatement.

As of the third quarter of 2019, Facebook counted 2.45 billion monthly active users. The biggest social network worldwide reports that each month 2.8 billion users log in to at least one of its leading apps.

Back in 2010, Facebook has just been around for six years, and Twitter for four. Instagram and Snapchat were yet to be launched.

Some social media platforms thrived, like Tinder and TikTok, while others went into oblivion, like Google+ and Yahoo Messenger.

The video below demonstrates the explosive growth social media has been through in the last ten years.

People find in “free” social media networks a way to stay in touch with family members and friends. They can also use these platforms to find jobs, make money, or share what they like and express their opinions.

For businesses, social media is like Ali Baba’s cave.

Brands seek exposure to build an audience and foster their image. They can advertise, sell, take care of customer service, and gauge the relevance and popularity of their offerings.

But because any success often comes with its challenges, the meteoric rise of social media isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. A string of social media scandals has rocked the internet over the last ten years.

By leaking users’ data, social media networks have been at the heart of many privacy scandals and ethical issues. Unfortunately, it appears that this trend will continue in the following years.

Read More: The Top 5 Mobile Trends to Look Forward to in 2020

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Zayan Guedim

Trilingual poet, investigative journalist, and novelist. Zed loves tackling the big existential questions and all-things quantum.

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