A new media company is a business that harnesses one or more of the technologies which have experienced worldwide growth over the last few decades. Technologies such as instant messaging, streaming video, blogs, and social networking sites are made accessible via computers, cell phones, and other hand held devices. These integrations result in the type of broad, all-in-one platform of accessibility that new media companies strive to create.
The Microsoft® Network (MSN®) is a new media company that quickly took advantage of different interactive technologies early on in the dot-com boom. As an Internet Service Provider (ISP), MSN® designed its home page as a web portal, from which users could access an email service, Hotmail®, which has since gone on to become the world's largest free web-based email service. A few years later, MSN® launched an Instant Messenger (IM) feature called MSN® Messenger, which enabled users to chat with one another, share files, and play games.
While many web tools created by MSN® have gone on to become the most popular of their kind, the network's search engine capabilities were weaker in comparison to that of another new media company. Launched in 1998, Google™ began to garner attention near the beginning of the new millennium for its high degree of functionality and quality of results. As the popularity of Google™ continued to grow, the new media company began adding complementary services to its portfolio, including Gmail™, Google™ Earth, and Google™ AdSense. Google™ also acquired the video sharing site, YouTube™, and popular blog network, Blogger™, and integrated them into its portfolio of services.
In 2006, a social networking site originally created for Harvard students, Facebook™, became available to members of the public. Since then, the popularity of this new media company has skyrocketed with the addition of several integrated and interactive capabilities, which are the hallmark of new media. Facebook™ has created applications which allow it to connect to, and import data from such technologies as iTunes®, iPhone®, and Twitter™, to name a few. Facebook™ also allows outside developers who are not employed with the company to develop their own applications, which Facebook™ users may then add to their account and share with others. Unlike a blog or website, which allow the user to communicate with anyone who has an Internet connection, social networking sites such as Facebook™ allow the user to share and receive information with a select group of other users.