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12 / 03 / 19

The World Wide Web Turns 30

The history of the Web

The World Wide Web, as you may know, was developed in 1989 by Sir Tim Berners-Lee at CERN, and earned him his royal tap on the shoulder. The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), headed by Berners-Lee, describes it loosely:

“The World Wide Web is the universe of network-accessible information, an embodiment of human knowledge.”

Tim Berners-Lee' computer at CERN.

More specifically it’s defined as being a combination of all resources and users on the Internet that are using the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (http).

You’ve likely heard the two words ‘web’ and ‘internet’ bounded around in reference to the internet. The two terms, however, are not technically interchangeable. The Internet is defined as the sprawling mass of information, whereas the web is specifically the means of piggybacking the Internet to exchange information.

The web went into full availability in 1991 and since then it’s grown at an almost impossible pace and is used internationally for a whole host of reasons, good and not so good.  

Just in case you were wondering what humans have been doing with this revolutionary development in the past 30 years, the most streamed song on Spotify is ‘Wake Me Up’ by Avicii and the most watched video on YouTube is ‘Gangnam Style’… just why?

The future of the web

With the internet ageing and developing you may wonder what the future holds for what is now one of our most precious resources.

While it’s likely that its use will only become more prevalent as time goes on, the way in which we use it does face a few challenges. The biggest of these being Net Neutrality. You may have heard the phrase but not be entirely certain what it means.


As it stands today, once you have yourself an internet connection and a capable device you can access whichever part of the internet you want. This is thanks to regulation regarding net neutrality.

Without this regulation, internet service providers could prioritise certain traffic and restrict user’s access to certain services based on how much they paid and for what packages, almost like a Sky TV service but for the web.

This would not only make using the web much more expensive for users and companies with service providers milking all the cash they could, but also damage smaller sites and independent set-ups.

Facts about the internet

As the internet hits 30 and begins to wonder why it’s still single, here’s a few fun facts:

  • The original Space Jam website from 1996 is still live
  • The most commonly searched question on Google in 2013 was “What is twerking?”
  • It took just 5 years for the internet to reach 50 million users
  • Twitter has 250 million users
  • 16-20% of daily Google queries have never been Googled before
  • The inventor of the GIF, Steve Wilke, maintains that it’s pronounced “jiff”
  • The first YouTube video was uploaded by Jawed Karim, a founder of the site, in 2005 and is a video of Jawed at San Diego Zoo
Written by Kathryn Formation