3 September 2014 | Team Tamar

#OnThisDayInDigital in more than 140 characters…

Is there a winning year in digital history?

#OnThisDayinDigital began back at the beginning of 2014 and although we’re only 2/3 of the way through the year we’ve already come across loads of interesting insights we wanted to share with you. It’s fair to say that the digital facts for some days wouldn’t have always come as a shock. For example, the launch of Google and the first iPhone release were pretty big markers in the digital age and so would have been noted in most digital enthusiast’s calendars.

For the most part though, we managed to compile a great little database showing how the digital era has evolved into the world of multiple wireless devices and wearable gadgets. Here’s the timeline of events we’ve tweeted so far:
#OnThisDayInDigital Tweets graph

With some tough competition coming from either side it looks like 2011 has so far come out on top for the most digital events. It may not come as too much of a shock to see that the number of memorable digital events happened post 1995, as the past 20 years has seen the birth of a new era, where not having your mobile on you makes you feel more panicked than if you were forced to choose between Instagram and eating.

Of the 74 pre-1995 #OnThisDayInDigital tweets, 43% of them are birthdays of significant contributors to the digital age, like Mark Zuckerberg (1964) or Alan Turing (1912). The other 42 tweets were mostly made up of early releases of technical inventions or projects that have been evolved to create the world me know today. Events like the first domain being registered or the original Apple computer being released were turning points that deserve to be remembered.

As the years go on, the tweets include far more milestones for companies and platforms, as well as releases of new generations of gadgets. Some of the more interesting events have been lawsuits involving some of the top tech giants, for example when Apple sued Microsoft back in 1988 for copyright infringement.

Ecommerce Sites

We compared a few of the top online retailers including Amazon, eBay, Asos and Etsy, and perhaps unsurprisingly all were launched in the summer and early autumn months. This makes sense for online shops to be live for the run up to Christmas as it is obviously the biggest time of year for online shopping. This will also help them gain a modest user base which will be beneficial in an already saturated market. There’s also an SEO benefit to going live before the Christmas period starts; it allows Google to index the pages so the site will be more likely to show up in search results than if it only launched in say October/November time.

Social Media

With the exception of Instagram, which was launched in October 2010, pretty much none of the big social media platforms were launched towards the end of the year. When looking at 11 different sites, 6 were launched between January and March, with a sprinkling across May-August period. This shows a different pattern to the above as it seems that successful social media sites are more likely to launch in the first half of the year compared to ecommerce sites. Obviously it’s hard to conclude on any correlation, but it might be worth noting that if you want to compete with some of the social media sharks, you might want to launch earlier in the year.

YouTube

When looking at 20 most viewed YouTube videos, 19 of them are music videos. In fact, almost a third of those videos were uploaded in 2011; clearly a ‘good’ year for music. With YouTube having launched in 2005, it took another 4 years for a music video to be uploaded that was worthy of internet virality. Oddly, not a single one of the top 10 videos were uploaded onto YouTube in the final quarter of the year (October-December); perhaps with the run up to Christmas there’s too much competition for newly released singles to gain popularity?

The oldest video that made it onto the list (coming in at an impressive no. 4) is also the only non-music video there. “Charlie bit my finger. Again” has been watched over 760 million times and provides a nice break of songs that have been – arguably – overplayed.

So overall there seems to be some interesting patterns emerging, as time goes by more and more memorable milestones and events are taking place! If you want to set up a successful social media platform, or gain your song the title of one of the most watched on the internet, earlier in the year is the best shout. If you want to launch a great ecommerce site however, Q2 appears to be the smarter choice. Not only this but come 2015 there will be even more to add from 2014. Don’t forget, you don’t have to wait until midday for our #OnThisDayInDigital Tweet, you can visit the site itself to find out what today’s digital tid-bit is and can tweet it to your own digital fanbase.

Team Tamar