14 Famous Internet Firsts that were exceptional in shaping web history

first pic uploaded online

Who sent the first email and when?

How about the first tweet ever?

Who uploaded the first picture to the internet?

Or what the internet was before it was “the internet”?.

Here are 14 most famous internet firsts to answer these puzzling questions.


The first email was sent by Ray Tomlinson to himself in 1971. “The test messages were entirely forgettable. . . . Most likely the first message was QWERTYIOP or something similar,” he said.

first email sender

Ray Tomlinson sent the world’s first email in 1971. He sent it to himself.


The first spam email was sent by ARPANET to 393 people on May 3, 1978

ARPANET SPam email

The first domain name ever registered was Symbolics.com on March 15, 1985. Now it serves as a historic site.

first website ever

The first website was dedicated to information about the World Wide Web and went live on August 6, 1991. Here’s the url: http://info.cern.ch/hypertext/WWW/TheProject.html.

first dedicated www

 The first picture ever uploaded on the web was posted by Tim Burners Lee (inventor of the World Wide Web) on behalf of a comedy band called Les Horrible Cernettes.

first picture uploaded online was horrible

The first AOL Instant Message was sent by Ted Leonsis to his wife on Jan. 6, 1993. It read, “Don’t be scared … it is me. Love you and miss you.”

first Aol IM

His wife replied, “Wow … this is so cool!” Leonsis later became AOL’s Vice Chairman.

Joe McCambley ran the first banner ad ever online. It went live in October 1994 on HotWired.com and it promoted 7 art museums, sponsored by AT&T.

first online ad

 The first item sold on eBay (back then it was AuctionWeb) was a broken laser pointer for $14.83 in 1995. The man who bought it told founder Pierre Omidyar he collected broken laser pointers.

first ebay sold

 The first book purchased on Amazon was Douglas Hofstadter’s Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies: Computer Models of the Fundamental Mechanisms of Thought in 1995.Screenshot (227)


The first sentence uttered on Skype was in Estonian in April 2003 by a member of the development team. It was ‘Tere, kas sa kuuled mind?’ or “Hello, can you hear me?” in English.

first skype msg

Mark Zuckerberg was the first person on Facebook with ID number 4 (the first three Facebook accounts were used for testing). The first non-founder to join Facebook was Arie Hasit (below), who is now in Israel studying to be a rabbi.

non founder pioneer of facebook

facebook.com/4 redirects you to Mark Zuckerberg’s profile facebook.com/zuck. Try it out!



The first YouTube video posted was posted by co-founder Jawed Karim at the San Diego Zoo. It was uploaded on April 23, 2005 and has been watched nearly 10 million times

The first tweet was written by co-founder Jack Dorsey on March 21, 2006.

first tweet

The first commercial cell phone call ever made was in 1983. It was placed by Bob Barnett who was president of Ameritech. Video of the call is below.


Now check out what 14 popular websites looked like then  and now


NOTE: If you think I’ve missed out a famous internet first, update it in the comments.

h/t: Business Insider


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