Known for specific functions, some sites and apps were launched with another proposal. This is the case, for example, with Twitter, which emerged from a podcast platform; YouTube, coming from the relationship business; and Wikipedia, with a search section for "spicy" images. These changes occurred over time and had different reasons, such as low investment and public appeal. Find out about the past of these and other successful sites below.
Know ten curious or bizarre facts about the Internet
1. eBay was an Ebola site
Entrepreneur Pierre Omidyar created in 1995 an Ebola website with photos, information and links to news about the disease. The page was called "Ebola Information", one of several within eBay. The electronic address didn't seem to have much focus at the time. There was also a page about the biotechnology startup for the bride from Omidyar and another for alumni at Tufts University in Massachusetts, USA.
EBay e-commerce is successful worldwide Photo: Divulgao / eBay
However, the ebay that was successful was AuctionWeb, an auction site. In 1997, the page was renamed to eBay, the website with the largest purchase and sale of goods in the world.
2. Twitter started with a podcast service
The startup Odeo launched a podcast platform in 2005. However, in the same year, Apple announced that it would include a similar service in iTunes, integrated with all iPods. Concerned about the competition, the Odeo team decided to think of other ways and presented Twttr, a system for sharing messages sent via SMS to a certain number. In March 2006, the company had a Twitter prototype that we know today.
Finally, Odeo investors who were not satisfied with the new direction of the startup had their shares bought, at the time, by CEO Evan Williams. They left and the enterprise started to be run exclusively by those in charge of the social network.
Evan Williams, former Twitter CEO, with the first product from startup Odeo Photo: Reproduo / Business Insider
The start of the startup Odeo started in the 2000s, when the businessman Noah Glass developed a technology in which the user calls a phone, the message recorded in MP3 format and hosted on the Internet. The idea soon won investors, including Evan Williams, who had just sold Blogger to Google. Designer Jack Dorsey and a former Google Biz Stone employee were among the company's first employees.
3. Flickr and Slack were born from a game that didn't work
The Flickr photo service and the Slack productivity tool have a common origin: the Game Neverending game, an archaic Second Life type with fantastic elements created in 2002. The lack of financial investments in the game led the organizers to change plans and, from the technologies already developed, a platform was created for users to share photo packages and comment on them in real time. Thus Flickr was born, later sold to Yahoo! for $ 35 million.
Slack only came years later. In 2009, game developer Stewart Butterfield decided to try releasing the game again. With the reputation gained by Flickr, raising money was not a problem. But, after years of development and testing, the team realized that it had no appeal to the public and, therefore, would not go forward. Therefore, they decided to bet on something different. From the chat system, made for the company's internal use, they created a new product, Slack. The tool grew and fell in thanks to large technology and communication companies in a very short time.
The Game Neverending game yielded two famous services Photo: Reproduction / TechCrunch
4. YouTube was once a dating site
YouTube was launched by three PayPal employees in 2005. As they did not know how to describe the new product, they said it was a type of video-oriented dating site, according to Jawed Karim, one of the founders. At the time, there was no way to choose which video to watch the site selected at random, the service was expensive and little used.
In view of the situation, the founders even offered money for women to share videos. Finally, users arrived, started uploading the most diverse types of content and redefined YouTube.
YouTube was once a social networking site Foto: Reproduo / First Versions
5. Twitch was not about games
Twitch came from the idea of making a "homemade Big Brother". Justin Kan's initial proposal was to attach a camera to his head and display his daily life for 24 hours on the channel Justin.tv. Then, the site was opened to the public, so that anyone could do the same. The service concept was designed by a group of developers in 2005.
However, action generated controversy. Some people hated the idea and this exploration of privacy revealed serious security problems. On the other hand, others have shown an interest in broadcasting game matches. After almost going bankrupt, the pioneer of live streaming redirected its resources and became TwitchTV, a platform known for broadcasting gameplays and e-sports competitions.
Justin Kan had a camera on his head to transmit his life in the predecessor of Twitch Photo: Reproduo / The Verge
6. Wikipedia came from a pornography search engine
The Bomis search engine helped create Wikipedia. With the help of Jimmy Wales in the 1990s, he included a section for researching naked women and a blog dedicated to photos of half-naked celebrities and porn stars. With Bomis' profits, it was possible to finance a side project by the entrepreneur: Nupedia, an online encyclopedia written and evaluated by experts and academics, predecessor of Wikipedia.
Jimmy Wales in 2001, Wikipedia start Photo: Reproduction / New York Times
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