18 June 2013 | Team Tamar

Tamar18 Digital Milestones – the Top 10

The Report

As you can probably tell from our tweets and posts in the past few days, today sees the launch of Tamar’s latest research report: ‘Project18: Digital Milestones‘. We got together with a wealth of influential figures who have witnessed the key moments in digital over the past 18 years, to put together a definitive list of milestones. The results have been collated, the comments are in and you can read the full report on our White Papers section.

Project 18 - The Digital Milestones

The Timeline

If you want to view the full list in a slightly more interactive format, you should take a look at our animated timeline of the past 18 years…


The Top Ten

Last week we ran down the milestones which made it into the bottom half of our list (“Tamar18 – How we’re celebrating“) – now that the report has been unleashed, we wanted to run down the Top 10. So, in reverse order, here’s what the experts voted as their Top 10 Digital Milestones from the past 18 years…

10. 2006: Facebook launches outside university networks. Whilst ‘The Book’ had been attracting a lot of attention thanks to its prevalence in universities across the world, it was only when registration was opened to all that the world got its first real taste of Facebook. Since that day it has grown to over 1 billion active users.

9. 2000: Virgin Media introduce broadband to the UK. Operating as ntl:, they introduced ‘super fast’ internet to the UK to much fanfare. According to a BBC follow-up piece, the very first customer to get broadband in the UK was Mark Bush, a combat flight enthusiast.

8. 1997: BBC Online Launches. Now simply known as BBC.co.uk, Auntie Beeb’s first foray in to the world of (free) websites launched in December 1997. Before that, the BBC’s online efforts consisted of a subscription-funded “Networking Club”, www.bbcbc.ork.uk.

7. 2005: YouTube launches. It’s hard to imagine a world without YouTube at your fingertips. Back in 2006, when Google paid $1.65 billion for the fledging site, it was already serving 100 million video views a day – a number which has since been dwarfed by many amazing boasts.

6. 1999: The initial release of Napster. For an entire generation of internet users, Napster is simply an online music store. But those of that can remember back to 1999 will recall its slightly murkier origins – launching as a peer-to-peer file sharing service and facing a plethora of legal battles before its eventual shut-down.

5. 2007: Apple launches the iPhone. Before the days when Apple revolutionised the world of smart phones, we were all walking about with clunky handsets with boring keyboards and maybe even protruding aerials. It all seems so long ago now, doesn’t it?

4. 2000: The dot-com bubble bursts. It’s hard to summarise the global event that was the dot-com bubble burst in one paragraph – many books and university courses have been written about the subject, while the Wikipedia page for the period contains dozens of examples of famous websites that are now just a distant memory (anyone remember boo.com?). Needless to say, it changed the face of ecommerce.

3. 2006: Twitter launches. Whilst Twitter hasn’t amassed the same level of users as Facebook has over the same period, many experts cited it as a bigger milestone – mainly because of the way it changed so many different disciplines and industry – most obviously, journalism.

2. 1995: Amazon.com Launches. One of the oldest milestones on the list was also many contributors’ number 1, with the launch of Amazon changing the face of shopping – both online and off. But it was pipped to the top spot by the launch of a little search engine… I wonder if you can guess what?

1. 1998: Google launches. The little search engine that could. It’s hard not to write a whole blog post on Google’s dominance over the past 15 years – so hard in fact that we didn’t bother. Take a look at Tanya’s tribute to the ‘Big G’ here: “Imagine a world without Google…

Team Tamar