Twitter Facebook LinkedIn Flipboard 0 We use their creations every day (over two thirds of internet users and nearly a quarter of the earth’s population will use social networking sites in 2013), but how much do we really know about the innovators behind our favourite social networking sites? Sure, Mark Zuckerberg is now a household name, and the Facebook founder has achieved a level of mainstream recognition that’s only matched by Bill Gates and Steve Jobs, but how many of you can name the entrepreneur who created Pinterest, or the three former PayPal employees who launched YouTube? Luckily, we’ve done the hard work for you – prepare to meet the founders of your favourite social sites. Mark Zuckerberg: Facebook – Source: www.socialpositives.com We all know the story of how the young Mark Zuckerberg created TheFacebook.com in his Harvard dorm room – in fact, it’s even been turned in to a Hollywood movie, albeit one that’s riddled with inaccuracies. Zuckerberg is motivated by a deep desire to connect people, and after he witnessed the site’s early success, he decided to drop out of college and work on the project full-time, moving its base to Palo Alto in California and recruiting Napster co-founder Sean Parker as company president and receiving funding from PayPal cofounder Peter Thiel. Jack Dorsey: Twitter – Source: www.wired.co.uk Jack Dorsey was pivotal in developing Twitter after a brainstorming session at Odeo, the podcasting company that he used to work at with Biz Stone and Evan Williams, early members of the company. Since founding Twitter, Dorsey has gone on to found a mobile payments company called Square, and he was awarded the ‘Innovator of the Year Award’ for technology by the Wall Street Journal in 2012. L-R: Chad Hurley, Steve Chen and Jawed Karim: YouTube – Source: www.wikimedia.org Chad, Steve and Jared are the three entrepreneurs and former PayPal employees who created what was to become the most popular video-sharing site on the web. No-one can agree on what inspired the site, with reports ranging from Janet Jackson’s nipple slip to a need to share the videos from a dinner party, but we can all agree that this behemoth has taken off in a big way – since being acquired by Google for $1.65 billion, a sum which any independent assessor would now laugh at, the video-sharing network has gone from strength to strength. Reid Hoffman: LinkedIn – Source: www.freshdialogues.com Reid Hoffman founded LinkedIn with a team of top notch developers and entrepreneurs from PayPal and Socialnet.com, and while the world’s foremost professional social network sees a lower growth rate than its more light-hearted social siblings, it still welcomes two new members every second with almost 250 million members in total. Hoffman has since handed the CEO role over to Jeff Weiner, and is now a successful author and investor – in fact, he invested alongside Peter Thiel in Facebook’s first ever round of funding, and his money has also powered Zynga, Flickr, Digg and Last.fm. Dennis Crowley: Foursquare – Source: www.businessweek.com Dennis’ story is an unusual one – he formed Dodgeball, a primitive precursor to Foursquare that used SMS technology, and worked on that until Google bought it and shut it down, replacing it with Google Latitude. Foursquare is the second iteration, created by Dennis and Naveen Selvadurai in 2009 and launched at SXSW, joining Twitter and Foodspotting on the list of successful social sites that were released at the festival. Kevin Systrom: Instagram – Source: www.forbes.com Systrom launched Instagram with Mike Krieger back in October 2010, and in just three short years, the app has gained over 100 million users, launched on both iOS and Android and witnessed an acquisition from Facebook for $1 billion. In the process, Systrom netted $400 million for his ownership share in the business. Not bad! Ben Silbermann: Pinterest – Source: www.fastcodedesign.com Silbermann is Pinterest’s CEO, but he didn’t create the site by himself – he co-founded the company with Paul Sciarra and Evan Sharp. After launching in a closed beta in 2010, the service went public to all on the 10th of August 2012 – it now has over 70 million users. Not bad for a company created by a former salesman at Google with a political science degree! Evan Spiegel: Snapchat – Source: www.time100.com As the founder of the current poster child of the social networking generation, Spiegel has plenty to smile about. Spiegel worked on Snapchat for one of his Stanford University classes, launching it from his father’s bedroom. Since its launch in September 2011, the app has constantly increased in popularity, now seeing more photo-shares than Instagram. It’s still yet to monetise its user base, though! Source: www.sophiemahir.com Despite the fact that millions of people use their services every day, most social networking founders endure a bizarre type of fame – they can walk through the streets of London without anyone batting an eyelid, but if they dare to sit in a quiet corner of a café in Palo Alto, they’ll be bombarded with meeting requests and questions from hopeful developers. Always the anomaly, Mark Zuckerberg is the only founder who’s successfully crossed over in to the mainstream, becoming the figurehead and the unwilling spokesman for the social networking generation. These guys didn’t follow in his footsteps, though – they forged their own path in a world where new technologies are forever being created to bring people together. How many of our founders have you heard of? Which ones inspire you? Let us know with a comment. Twitter Tweet Facebook Share Email This article was written for Business 2 Community by Kane Pepi.Learn how to publish your content on B2C Author: Kane Pepi Kane Pepi is an experienced financial and cryptocurrency writer with over 2,000+ published articles, guides, and market insights in the public domain. Expert niche subjects include asset valuation and analysis, portfolio management, and the prevention of financial crime. Kane is particularly skilled in explaining complex financial topics in a user-friendlyView full profile ›More by this author:VoIP Basics: Everything Beginners Should Know!Bitcoin Investment, Trading & Mining: The Ultimate Guide for BeginnersIs This a Better Way to Set Your 2020 Goals and Resolutions?