CqixA2EWEAAapu5.jpg_large25 years ago today Tim Berners-Lee granted the masses access to the internet. At the time some were very skeptical. Now looking back, where would be without the world wide web?

The internet, created at CERN in Switzerland by Sir Tom Berners-Lee from 1989-1991.

Known as ‘Internaut Day’, August 23rd marks the anniversary of the public use of the internet, when the world’s first website went live to the public. This website was a basic text page with hyperlinked words that connected to other pages and it blew people away. Since then the internet has changed the way we share information, buy and stay up to date with news in just a quarter of a century.

Here at Pixel by Pixel we are more than grateful for the world-wide web, and it makes us feel nostalgic. So we are looking back on some of the biggest moments in the history of the internet so far that we are sure that many of you will remember.



1992 First photo uploaded to the internet15968853firstphoto_finished_full

Tim Berners-Lee and his colleagues uploaded the first photo to appear on the web. The photo was of CENRs all-female parody pop group Les Horribles Cernettes and was a Photoshop disaster!


1993 First search engine is born

Web developer Oscar Nierstrasz develops one of the first web search engines


1994 White house goes live

The White House launches its website, www.whitehouse.gov. Initial commerce sites are established and mass marketing campaigns are launched via email, introducing the term “spamming” to the Internet vocabulary.


1994 First online purchase is madeScreen Shot 2016-08-23 at 16.19.15

When eCommerce takes its first step in the world of internet. Pizza Hut becomes the first company to have the first known purchase online with its pepperoni and mushroom pizza from it’s “electronic storefront” – PizzaNet.


1994 First Banner advert appearsScreen Shot 2016-08-23 at 14.53.05

The first ever banner advert went live on October 27th on hotwired.com promoting AT&T’s telecom services and even though it was a new thing, over 44% of those who went on to website clicked on it. The advert very cleverly stated “Have you ever clicked HERE? You will.” And they did!


1994 First Blog is born

The world’s first internet based diary (known as a blog today) was created by then 20-year-old Justin Hall. He continued to use it for the next 11 years.


1995 eBay starts to take-overhttp_mashable.com_wp-content_uploads_2010_08_auctionweb-homepage-2006-cropped

The first sales take place on AuctionWeb – otherwise known as eBay


1995 First dating website is launched

The world of single people are delighted with the launch of the first dating website Match.com


1995 Welcomes Internet Explorer

Windows releases its first browser that we all love to hate now – Internet Explorer 1.0


1996 Mail gets hot

The world’s first web-based messaging services to bring free email to the masses if born – HoTMail wins over the crowns and in its first 18 months has several million users world-wide.


1996 Browser war

After the successful launch of the Internet Explorer comes the “browser war” when Microsoft and Netscape battle it out


1996 Dancing baby goes viralScreen Shot 2016-08-23 at 17.39.10

Kids these days would never understand how this 3D animation of a dancing baby went viral. Hell, even those of us who remember this don’t understand. But this dancing baby exploded over forums, websites and emails and become one of the world’s first viral videos.



1997 Google is registered

Entrepreneurs Sergey Brin and Larry Page register the domain for Google.com with the aim to “organize a seemingly infinite amount of information on the web.” Little did we know how big this would become.


1998 First Engrish MemeScreen Shot 2016-08-23 at 17.41.26

The first meme swept across the internet based on the opening dialogue of a game Zero Wing. “All Your Base Are Belong to Us” became a hugely popular catchphrase and went viral up until 2000, pawning thousands of image macros and flash animations featuring the slogan both on the web and real life.


1999 Fist leak

One of the first major scandals to be caused by an online leak ensues when the names of British intelligence agents appear on a US-based website. The case sends the UK government into a flurry as it attempts to stop the list circulating, demonstrating how difficult it is for anyone — even authorities — to prevent the spread of information online (hello, Wikileaks!).


2001 Wikipedia launches

The source of all worldly information is born. Who doesn’t remember checking Wikipedia for every piece of information before “Google It” became a thing?


2004 The Facebook is bornthe_facebook_blue

Computer programmer Mark Zuckerberg develops a number of social-networking websites for fellow students of Harvard University. Coursematch and Facemash allowed users to view people taking their degree and rate peoples attractiveness. This then followed into ‘The Facebook’, which was only available to Harvard students later expanding to other schools from across the world in 2005 until it was released to the general public in 2006 as the ‘Facebook’ as we know now.


2006 ‘Tweets’ becomes a thing2006

Jack Dorsey, Evan Williams, Biz Stone and Noah Glass launches a new social network platform called Twitter which rapidly gained worldwide popularity.


2009 Happy 40th birthday to the internet!

Although the name “internet” was only 35 years old, the first message sent across Arpanet was on 29 October 1969.


2010 Instagramming food becomes trendy

Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger launch the photo-sharing phenomenon Instagram. Beta users were invited to test out the app, within hours the platform had crossed over 10,000 users.


2010 Pinning content from the web becomes addictive

Ben Silbermann, Paul Sciarra and Evan Sharp create the very addictive Pinterest, a photo-sharing website. The duo say that the platform is rather a “catalog of ideas” rather than a social network as it inspires users to “go out and do that thing”.


2014 Internet bill of rights

As the web turns a quarter of a century, founding father Tim Berners-Lee calls for an internet bill of rights to protect web users’ privacy and freedom of speech. “Our rights are being infringed more and more on every side, and the danger is that we get used to it,” he warns. “So I want to use the 25th anniversary for us all to do that, to take the web back into our own hands and define the web we want for the next 25 years.”


2015 First major milestone for Facebook Screen Shot 2016-08-23 at 16.32.39

Facebook passes an important milestone of 1 billion people using its platform in one day. Which makes 1 of 7 people in the world using the platform to connect to friends and family.


2015 Free and open

The Federal Trade Commission adopts laws to keep the internet free and open.


2015 Pinterest continues to be popular

Pinterest is published in more than 30 languages and has over 73 million users.


So there we have it – only some of the top 25 history moments since the internet became public use. It has evolved so much in the last 25 years that makes us wonder where it will be in 25 years to come. What are your thoughts on the evolution of the internet?



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Author Nikki Hall

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