History of Webinars. Short Story.

A brief webinar history

Webinars or online seminars have become integral to our life long ago. Yet, few of us had ever thought about the webinar history, e.g., when and where they appeared or what their predecessors were. Today we offer you a brief insight into this wonderful technology.

A Brief «Webinar» Story. What is Webinar?

Webinar history started at the end of the 1980es. Namely, at that time, when the history of the Internet was at its early stage, the webinar’s predecessors appeared, which were real-time text messaging apps like IRC. Then, in the mid 1990es, web chats and instant messaging apps were developed.

In 1995, PictureTel announced the launch of the LiveShare Plus software. The app allowed sharing of one’s screen, providing another user with remote access to the computer, as well as file transfer and text messaging.

The first public web conferences became available in May 1996 due to Microsoft’s efforts, which announced the launch of NetMeeting. It was an inbuilt component of the web browser Internet Explorer 3.0. NetMeeting allowed users to communicate and exchange data in real time.

The first webinar software PlaceWare became available the same year. Xerox PARC developed it.

The app allows one or several users to make a presentation, which could be attended by hundreds or even thousands of visitors worldwide. Moreover, PlaceWare offered several other features: audience polling, private chat communication, and the participation of a webinar attendee as a presenter.

In 1998, Eric R. Korb registered the trademark «webinar,» which was further challenged in court. At present, InterCall owns the trademark «webinar.» In 1998, Eric R. Korb registered the trademark «webinar,» which was further challenged in court. At present, InterCall owns the trademark «webinar.»

In 1999, the company Cisco developed WebEx Meeting Center software. It offered the possibility of holding webinars for up to 1,000 simultaneous attendees.

From 2000 on, more and more webinar service providers started appearing on the market: GoToMeeting, GoToWebinar, ClickWebinar, and MyOwnConference. Webinar software gets more functional yearly, with added value features.

To sum it up

We could notice that the webinar history lasts for several decades only. Yet, within this time, both webinar technology and webinar service providers have been developing quickly.

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