In fact, some of today’s biggest and brightest stars got their start and became household names.
Why do we care about 2006? That’s the year Convoso marks its beginning. And we were in good company!
YouTube had launched the year before in 2005, and the first iPhone wouldn’t be announced until the next year in 2007. MySpace ruled social networking (My what? you ask – check your history books kids, it was global, it was huge. In fact, in 2006 it became the most visited website in the US ).
What new technology came out in 2006? Only the likes of Facebook and Twitter. Plus, Sony unveiled the PS3 and Nintendo launched the Wii; Motorola unveiled a new edition of its ever-popular flip phone, the Razr. Oh—and Google bought a little thing called YouTube.
Google expanded its dominance of search engine traffic and shelled out $1.65 billion to acquire the nascent YouTube platform, buying itself video search capabilities. That seems to have worked out pretty well.
Let’s take a trip down memory lane and compare 2006’s tech then vs. now. See how far technology and the everyday experiences it shapes have come over the years.
Phones Steadily Get Smarter
Maybe the easiest way to get a sense of just how much technology has evolved since 2006 is to look at the most popular phones of that time.
In 2006, cell phones were just beginning to feature GPS, Wi-Fi, web browsers, and blazing fast (or so it seemed) 3G speeds. Tellingly, when reviewing the best phones of 2006, CNET broke the year’s best down into categories like “best slider phone of the year,” “best camera phone,” and “best BlackBerry.”
CNET’s 2006 pick for “Phone most likely to be the next big thing,” was the Telstra hiptop 2.
A decade and a half later, you would be hard-pressed to find a phone that slides or lacks a camera—and BlackBerry has long since moved on from phones to specialize in cybersecurity.
In the meantime, the smartphone became a staple of everyday life for much of the world, delivering access not just to the Web, but to email, all kinds of games, music, and apps—all without the need to supplement your cellphone with a PalmPilot or PDA.
Videos Start Going Viral—and YouTube Goes Mainstream
Long before TikTok was blowing up viral videos overnight, YouTube was birthing the whole phenomenon. As the news clip below attests, 2006 was the year of the viral video. And at one year old, YouTube was integral to their booming popularity.
In 2006, grainy 360p videos—many taken on flip phones like the Motorola Razr—were as good as they got. Still, the young site was attracting an average of 100 million views per day in July 2006, just three months before it was announced that Google would buy the company for $1.65 billion.
And of course today we don’t just have YouTube itself, we have world-famous YouTubers and subscriptions for YouTube TV. To certain millennials and members of Gen-Z, YouTube is just as central to the media landscape as broadcast TV might have been to previous generations.
Plus, it’s not just the YouTube ecosystem that’s shaped the last 15 years. Building off the pioneering platform’s example, countless streaming video providers have sprung up: Netflix, for example, added on-demand video to its DVD subscription service in 2007. Fast-forward to today, and it’s so-called cord-cutters who are set to outstrip cable TV subscribers.
Social Networking Takes Center Stage
While social media actually dates back to the earliest days of the computer, 2006 was the year that took it to a whole new level.
The mega-trendy MySpace social media platform boasted 100 million accounts and generated $30 million revenue per month.
Not many people saw it coming that a college social networking site called Facebook, would open up in 2006 to anyone over 13 with an email address, and as “Facebook”, surpass MySpace users within two years.
LinkedIn, thought of at the time as “MySpace for adults,” saw profits in 2006 for the first time.
Twitter was also launched in 2006 as a forum for short status updates, and tweets, and was quickly adopted as an easy microblogging, information-sharing site. The platform’s ubiquity today needs little introduction.
Like the growth of streaming video, these platforms’ growth has ushered in a fundamental change in the way many people interact with the world around them.
Of course, that’s not quite what it may have felt like back in those early days. Even as the sites grew rapidly in popularity and stature during 2006, they were still primarily centered around one thing: socializing. As the shot of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg’s profile shows, the platform was a place for people to gather online—to share photos, notes, and updates.
Today, Facebook and Twitter have moved well beyond social networking as a primary function and are looked to as sources of news for many people worldwide. Meanwhile, Facebook Marketplace is a full-blown Craigslist competitor, and the site’s parent company (now called Meta) owns other social app stalwarts WhatsApp and Instagram.
2006 wasn’t just the year of the flip phone and Facebook. It was also the year that Convoso first made a splash as a call center software startup. Things looked quite a bit different then—from the phones people had in their pockets to the software businesses used to dial their customers. But like the tech giants we covered above, Convoso has spent the last 15 years innovating its cloud-based contact center software.
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