Article by: Social Fresh
At the dawn of social media (2004 if you start at Facebook, 1997 if you are a Six Degrees purist), the mark of personal popularity was friend count. You wanted to make new friends so you could build up your network.
In 2006, Facebook launched the News Feed while Twitter joined the party with a 140-character limit, but the real breakthrough didn’t happen until 2009. That was the year Mark Zuckerberg rolled out the Like button–and lo, the miracle of direct, measurable consumer engagement came to be.
For the next five years, friend/fan count and engagement became the currency of social media. Without the option of paid ads, social was a purely earned media platform that brands were forced to approach just like any other teenager: start a page, build a following, post content, get engagement.