Login

A look back at the 'social' products, concepts that came before Facebook and Twitter

Bell Picturephone

As in years past, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social platforms will undoubtedly see a jump in activity during the holidays. Some of us will use them to connect with friends and family unable to join us in person. Others will rely on their Facebook and Twitter feeds as a temporary reprieve from family conversation at the dinner table. And while your parents (and grandparents) may not have had the same luxuries growing up, Wired is today reminding us these social networks didn't just spawn out of nowhere.

Decades before trending topics and hashtags entered the collective mindset, we were dreaming up things like the Memex desk. Skype and Apple's FaceTime may have revolutionized the concept, but Bell's Picturephone made video chat a reality back in 1964. And before anyone was talking about "apps," Japanese consumers were streaming videos, playing games, and checking maps on the go thanks to the iMode Phone. For the entertaining history lesson on all these early social initiatives, head over to Wired.

The Verge
X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.
Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.