A Brief History of Ezines – Online Magazines in the Modern World

A Brief History of Ezines – Online Magazines in the Modern World

We are fond of reading. Humans enjoy content in different formats. Some prefer listening to music or audiobooks, while others lean more towards video content. Today, it is really easy to find and watch a video, compared to over 20 years ago, when videos were something you had to get on a CD if you even had a CD player or drive if you had a PC. 

During the 90s, magazines were what people read to get their information, as well as newspapers. For those who wanted specific information about a topic, they would get a magazine. But, even in the 90s, there were enthusiasts who wanted to push the boundaries and they dedicated their time to creating online magazines. Who had access to them in the 90s? Not many people. But ever since then, online magazines have been around and their numbers continue to grow.

Here is a brief look at the history of online magazines.

The 90s – The Start of Modern Day Internet

The 90s had it all, from cheesy music and action movies to great music, movies and the internet becoming more popular. Some of the sites which we know and love started their journey in the 90s. More importantly, for this topic at least, online magazines started their journey in the 90s because they saw the opportunity. Publishing online means that you didn’t have to pay for a lot of things, such as an editor, a writer, a designer, and definitely not for paper, postage or ink. All you had to do was write, edit and design your site, then publish a well-written piece online. This is why online magazines were started by fans and IT experts (to an extent). Online magazines which managed to survive the 90s did a lot better in the 2000s.

The 2000s – The Internet Spreads its Influence

Once the new millenia had come, people became more familiar with the internet, or rather, computers became less expensive and people could purchase PCs which were able to use the internet. This meant more people had access to online magazines. Online shopping became somewhat normal and online magazines became more popular. Some online magazines had so much profit and popularity that they started their own physical magazines, meaning having them printed and distributed. But the 2000s were just an intersection, because everything actually took off when people got smartphones.

The 2010 – The Start of the Smartphone Era

Smartphones changed the game for everything online-based. Online magazines became even more popular because everyone had a smartphone and could access the internet from everywhere. This meant that you could connect and read while commuting to work or while on a break.

By 2020, some considered it to be too late to jump on the ezine hype train because the hype already passed. But, it doesn’t mean it’s late to start an online magazine if there is passion behind it and profit to be gained. Today, there are so many online magazines to choose from that you would need to have a hard look in order to find the one you prefer about a specific topic. 

Online magazines, like most things online, started their journey in the 90s, had their breakthrough in the 2000s and became a normal occurrence in the 2010s. The future will most likely have a place for them.