How Your Favorite Websites Looked Before They Were Popular

03/01/2017

1) Facebook

 Founded in 2004

If youʼve seen The Social Network, then you probably know that Facebook was going to be named “the Facebook” until Mark Zuckerberg had a talk with Sean Parker who advised him to drop “the” and make it just “Facebook”. Here's a glimpse of how it looked when it was “the Facebook”. 

And this is the layout we're all familiar with:

2) Twitter

Founded in 2006

Back in 2006, Twitter acquired the domain twitter.com for $7500, and I was curious to see what they did with it. Itʼs actually not bad compared to website standards at the time.

But it has come a long way...

3) Hi5

Founded in 2003

Speaking of social networks, we have to take a look at one of the earliest popular platforms. But before I found the earliest iteration of Hi5, we stumbled upon something that preceded it. Apparently, if you had typed hi5.com at some point in time before the official launch of the website, you would've been greeted with this splash screen

And when you click “Skip presentation”, it takes you to this page

Youʼll gladly take my money? What a relief! Itʼs been troubling me for quite a while now

And this what you'd see if you were still using it

4) MySpace

Founded in 2003

Having never joined the MySpace buzz in the '00s, we didnʼt know what to expect. So it was interesting when we stumbled upon this:

300 MB of unlimited free space? Ainʼt that the dream! If this thing was still running, I bet it would've been a big hit. Back to MySpace, itʼs safe to say that it has come long way from its state in the dial-up age

And this is how it is now

5) YouTube

Founded in 2005

From music to reviews to sketches, vlogs and walkthroughs, I honestly cannot imagine an internet without YouTube. Like, where would we go to listen to the songs that have been stuck in our heads all day? Or see some cool science experiments? Or even wander into that weird side of YouTube?

Woah, you clean up nice! 

6) Google

Founded in 1998

Of course this list would never be complete without Google, which I personally consider to be the Internetʼs كمسري - you canʼt get anywhere without going through it! The first version we found of Google was this page:

This next one came shorty after... Funky, isnʼt it?

And this is the simple and neat design we've all been accustomed to:

7) Yahoo

Founded in 1995

In my head, Google was always the first (and best) at what it did, so I was surprised to see that Yahoo preceded Google by not just a month or two... but 3 years!

And this is the current Yahoo:

8) Hotmail

Launched in 1996

Remember when emails had purposes other than sign-ups, applying for jobs and work-related communication? When they were used for actually sending a digital letter to someone? This may not be the oldest free email service but it's the one that I (and most Egyptians) started with:

Its sleek modern look:

9) Gmail

Launched in 2004

If I asked you what your first email address was, I bet you would be too embarrassed to say. Iʼm grateful for Gmail because I could use it as an excuse to bury my old shameful email address past. But it seems Gmail wasnʼt always Gmail, it used to redirect to USEmail.com, which looked like this:

Seems in the old days ISP's provided emails and this website was made to solve this issue

How elegant it's become:

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