What Was the First Internet Ad? It’s Not What You Think
Advertisements are a huge point of contention amongst modern Web users. At best, ads are inconvenient and unsightly — they can waste valuable mobile data , slow down page-loading, and pop-ups are just the worst — at worst, online ads can be harmful to kids .
However, advertisements are necessary. Ad-blocking extensions are harmful because ads are the bread-and-butter of many non-corporate websites. For an Internet that’s free of subscriptions and paywalls, ad-blocking extensions need to die .
But where did all of this start?
If you thought the first Internet ad was a banner, then surprise! You’re wrong. Banners are a relatively new phenomenon in the online world. Pop-ups, pop-unders, search ads, and adware are all recent trends. In fact, for most of the Internet’s lifetime, the main form of advertisement was by…
It’s impossible to know what the very first advertisement was, but the first publicized example is a 1978 email sent by the now-defunct Digital Equipment Corporation to ARPANET users across the west coast of America. Email advertising is so old that it predates the Internet as we know it today!
And if you’re curious, that 1978 bit of spam was an invitation to come see brand new models of the Dec-20 computer.
By comparison, the first recorded online banner advertisement came around in 1994 thanks to Wired.com. If you’re worried about spam in your email, check out these email security tips to keep you safe.
Do you remember your first encounter with an online ad? What was it? Tell us about your experiences below in the comments!