Tow Center

Follow major platform developments with our interactive timeline

August 23, 2017

We have entered an era in which just about every move social media and tech companies make has ramifications for journalism. Whether it’s a new article format, a change in terms of use, or an additional subscription option, publishers often find themselves following where platforms lead.

Today, the Tow Center for Digital Journalism is releasing an interactive timeline that collects platform developments since 2000, tracking these companies’ priorities and the pace of change. It provides an accessible resource for those seeking context for current developments, to identify trends, or to anticipate the significant shifts coming down the line. I began research for this project in late 2015 as part of the Platforms and Publishers project.

View the timeline here.

The timeline is focused, for now, on a handful of platform companies: Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, Google, Twitter, Snapchat, Apple, and Amazon. You can search by platform, by year, or by category.

This timeline will be updated regularly. I’ve also created a Google form and welcome input on developments that may be missing or additional categories that should be included.

Thanks to the wonderful and patient Jon Keegan, who developed the timeline interface.

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Nushin Rashidian is the research lead on the Platforms and Publishers project at the Tow Center for Digital Journalism. She also teaches at the Columbia Journalism School. @nushinrashidian