The origins of the Internet go back to the 1960’s. As you can guess, the Internet has had many milestones from then until now.

Here is our top five, based on historical importance, as well each milestone’s relevance today.

5. The First Purchase Made on eBay

Today eBay has over 100 million registered users. These users have contributed to over 300 million listings of all kinds of items on the website. But it all started with one broken item.

Pierre Omidyar created the site in 1995, which was then called “AuctionWeb.” He also made the first sale on the website. Pierre was able to sell a broken laser pointer for $14.83 in 1995. It took only two years for eBay to record its one-millionth item sold.

Today, over five billion items have been sold on the website. He may not have known it then, but when Pierre sold that broken laser pointer 18 years ago, he transformed the way goods would be bought and sold.

4. The First Picture Ever Uploaded

Pictures have overrun the Internet. With the development of social media, anyone and everyone can post pictures that they want to the Internet. There’s even a social media app dedicated specifically for pictures.

So it’s fitting the first picture ever uploaded on the Internet makes this list.

This picture has the honor of being number one. It was actually a photo-shopped version that was uploaded by Timber Berners-Lee, who just happened to invent the World Wide Web, in 1992. The picture is of a parody band called “Les Horribles Cernettes.”

This was a revolutionary moment because up until that point, the Internet was seen as only for serious matters.

Credit to Berners-Lee also successfully predicting the type of pictures that people would post the most.

3. The First Tweet

Twitter is fairly recent phenomenon compared to other firsts on this list, but the website earned a spot because of how it has changed the way information is shared around the world.

Co-founder Jack Dorsey made the first tweet in 2006. It simply read, “just setting up my twttr.” Pretty uninspiring. But that hasn’t stopped the twitter revolution.

As of September, Twitter has around 500 million users. These users have sent more than 300 billion tweets, with 500 million tweets being sent every day. Twenty percent of users also report using Twitter to gather news.

So while Twitter is a new Internet concept, its place in society is very important. And it all started with a grammatically incorrect sentence.

2. The First Registered Domain Name

Today, there are over 250 million registered domain names on the Internet. In just 28 years, the number of domain names has grown by 250 million times.

That’s right, the first domain name, symbolics.com, was registered in 1985. Symbolics was a company located in Cambridge, Massachusetts that built computer systems. Unfortunately, Symbolics sold its historic domain name in 2009. The company now owns the domain name symbolics-dks.com. Although the name has changed, from the looks of the website, it hasn’t changed since 1985.

The significance of the first domain name is obvious. Domain names make the World Wide Web what it is. They turned the Internet into a money making machine.

Besides businesses creating their own websites, people have been able to sell domain names to prominent companies for absurd amounts of money. Hotels.com was purchased in 2011 for $11 million. Facebook purchased Fb.com in 2010 for $8.5 million.

Domain names are essential for success on the Internet and symbolics.com got it all started.

1. The First Email

Ray Tomlinson was the man responsible for this epic feat. Tomlinson was working on a program that could transfer files to other computers. He came up with the idea to apply message functions along with the transfer program, and boom, email was born in 1971.

Unfortunately, according to Tomlinson, the first email was simply a test message and had no real meaning. Tomlinson mashed his hands on the keyboard and sent what came up.

Obviously, email has become a huge part of everyday life. It remains one of, if not the best, ways to contact a large group of people. But that doesn’t even scratch the surface of its importance.

Email was the predecessor to all of the incredible technologies people use to connect with each other. The development of email allowed for other messaging systems, like instant messaging and texting.

So as slow as email may seem today, without it, we may not have the faster types of messaging systems. That’s what makes the first email ever sent the most important first in Internet history.

Photo by whlwcl