BBC celebrates 20 years online: take a look at the changes

By Ishbel Macleod | PR and social media consultant

April 11, 2014 | 2 min read

Happy 20th online anniversary, BBC!

On 13 April, the BBC Networking Club launched, offering early social networking, bulletin board features and information about the BBC.

Ralph Rivera, director for BBC Future Media, said: “The BBC was there at the beginning, helping to usher in a whole host of online technologies that are now ingrained in our everyday lives. The web certainly looked different back then but it has retained the same potential to change our lives for the better, and we continue to be at the forefront of this exciting industry. We’re continually looking at how we can use the technology of tomorrow to bring even better services to our audiences today, and help improve access to information and entertainment.”

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The BBC Networking Club

The Networking Club was a not-for-profit subscription website offering early social networking, bulletin board features and information about the BBC. It went live to coincide with the first episode of the educational TV series, The Net.

BBC Online homepage in 1997

In December 1997, BBC Online officially launched and BBC News online was introduced to audiences. This came following the launch of World Service, Tomorrow’s World and Top Gear websites.

The BBC homepage today

Following on from the launch, the BBC launched the BBC iPlayer in 2007 and saw the site show 24 streams of Olympic coverage through an app.

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