2014-3-12 // by Ian Jacobs // 35 Comments

The World Celebrates 25 Years of the Web

Web users across the globe share #web25 birthday messages to mark the day Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web

12 March, 2014. Today, around the world, people are joining Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee in wishing the World Wide Web a happy 25th birthday. To mark the occasion, everyone is encouraged to share birthday greetings on social media using #web25. Select greetings will also be posted on a virtual birthday card on the official anniversary site webat25.org.

Berners-Lee and two organisations close to him - the World Wide Web Foundation and the World Wide Web Consortium, will also be asking people to take action to protect and enhance the open Web in 2014.

Recalling the theme of his famous tweet during the 2012 Olympics opening ceremony, “This is for Everyone”, Berners-Lee said:

“The Web’s billions of users are what have made it great. I hope that many of them will join me today in celebrating this important milestone.  I also hope this anniversary will spark a global conversation about our need to defend principles that have made the Web successful,  and to unlock the Web’s untapped potential. I believe we can build a Web that truly is for everyone: one that is accessible to all, from any device, and one that empowers all of us to achieve our dignity, rights and potential as humans. Tell us about your dream for the Web with #web25.”

First proposed in March 1989, the Web has transformed the way the world communicates, creates and collaborates. Over two in five of the world’s population are now connected, often bridging geographical and social divides. Each minute, they send each other hundreds of millions of messages, share 20 million photos, and exchange at least $15m worth of goods and services. The success of the Web can be traced to its original design as a decentralised system and an open architecture anyone could help to build.

However, the open Web’s true potential as a tool for empowering everyone has yet to be realised, and could dwindle if key challenges are not solved. Throughout 2014 and beyond, Berners-Lee is seeking to engage Web users, business and policy-makers in debating critical issues such as:

  • How do we connect the almost three in five people around the world who are not yet connected to the Web?
  • Regulation of the Internet is hotly contested terrain globally and nationally. What fresh, inclusive solutions can avoid the damage of a fragmented Web?
  • Our ability to use the Web to have a say and organise collectively is under threat from censorship and surveillance, whilst anyone online is threatened by cybercrime. How can we meet society’s growing needs for online freedom and privacy as well as security?
  • Globally, fewer than 10% of key government datasets have been opened up for free re-use online, drastically limiting Web-powered innovation in areas such as improving public transport and fighting corruption. What steps can be taken to unlock the true power of open data?
  • The Open Web Platform must be capable of expanding to meet industry demand for interoperability, mobility, and performance across connected devices of all shapes and sizes. How do we tackle the challenges raised by such diversity?
  • How do we promote a rich ecosystem of diversity and innovation for the long-term, rather than less fertile walled gardens?

“If we want a Web that is truly for everyone, then everyone must play a role in shaping its next 25 years,” Berners-Lee concluded.

To get started, we invite you to:

  • Send your birthday greetings via social media using hashtag #web25 and visit webat25.org
  • Join Tim Berners-Lee’s for a Reddit Ask Me Anything on 12 March 2014 at 19.00 GMT
  • Sign up to join the Web We Want Campaign, co-organized by the Web Foundation, to find out how to participate in events and actions in your country or community to defend users’ rights on and to the Web.
  • Attend or watch the live stream of W3C’s 20th Anniversary Symposium, when we will imagine the future of the Web through discussion and gala dinner, to take place 29 October in Santa Clara, California.

Many organizations will engage in birthday activities all year long. To learn more, visit webat25.org. For press requests, email press@webat25.org.

Web 25 Sponsors

W3C and the World Wide Web Foundation would like to thank all of the sponsors who are helping to make these activities possible:

Read more about sponsors ›

Translations of this Release

A Brief History of the Early Web

  • March 1989: “Information Management: A Proposal” written by Tim Berners-Lee (TBL) and circulated for comments at CERN. October 1990: TBL starts work on a hypertext GUI browser+editor using the NeXTStep development environment. He makes up “WorldWideWeb” as a name for the program and project.
  • August 1991: Web software made available on the Internet via FTP.
  • May 1992: Pei Wei’s “Viola” GUI browser for X test version
  • February 1993: National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) release first alpha version of Marc Andreessen’s “Mosaic for X”
  • April 1993: CERN’s declares that WWW technology would be freely usable by anyone, with no fees being payable to CERN.
  • May 1994: First International WWW Conference, CERN, Geneva.
  • October 1994: World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) founded

Read more Web history ›

About Tim Berners-Lee

A graduate of Oxford University, Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web, an internet-based hypermedia initiative for global information sharing while at CERN, the European Particle Physics Laboratory, in 1989. He wrote the first web client and server in 1990. His specifications of URIs, HTTP and HTML were refined as Web technology spread. He is Director of W3C and a Director of the World Wide Web Foundation.  In addition, He is the 3Com Founders Professor of Engineering in the School of Engineering with a joint appointment in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the Laboratory for Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence ( CSAIL) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) where he also heads the Decentralized Information Group (DIG). He is also a Professor in the Electronics and Computer Science Department at the University of Southampton, UK.

Read a longer biography of Tim Berners-Lee ›

About the World Wide Web Consortium

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is an international consortium where Member organizations, a full-time staff, and the public work together to develop Web standards. W3C primarily pursues its mission through the creation of Web standards and guidelines designed to ensure long-term growth for the Web. The Open Web Platform is a current major focus. Over 375 organizations are Members of the Consortium. W3C is jointly run by the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (MIT CSAIL) in the USA, the European Research Consortium for Informatics and Mathematics (ERCIM) headquartered in France, Keio University in Japan, and Beihang University in China, and has additional Offices worldwide. For more information see http://www.w3.org/

Read more about W3C ›

About the World Wide Web Foundation

Established by Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the World Wide Web Foundation (webfoundation.org) seeks to establish the open Web as a global public good and a basic right, creating a world where everyone, everywhere can use the Web to communicate, collaborate and innovate freely.

The Web Foundation’s team of 20 works with more than 90 partner organisations across 60 countries. Our current initiatives include co-leading the burgeoning Web We Want movement (webwewant.org), creating the world’s first ever Open Data Contracting Standard, and spearheading the Alliance for Affordable Internet (a4ai.org), the broadest technology sector coalition.

The World Wide Web Foundation also produces the Web Index (thewebindex.org), the world’s first multi-dimensional measure of the Web’s growth, utility and impact on people and nations. Launched in 2012 to critical acclaim, the 2013 version included data on 20 more countries, as well as enhanced indicators on key topics such as affordability, censorship and surveillance, gender and open data.

Read more about the Web Foundation ›


  • ITU: http://www.itu.int/en/ITU-D/Statistics/Pages/publications/mis2013.aspx
  • Open Data Barometer: http://www.opendataresearch.org/project/2013/odb
  • http://www.opendataresearch.org/content/2013/539/press-release-open-data-barometer
  • Intel: http://scoop.intel.com/what-happens-in-an-internet-minute/
  • Mckinsey: http://www.mckinsey.com/insights/high_tech_telecoms_internet/internet_matters


  1. Thiago Alves

    Olá gostaria de expressar minhas sinceras e felizes descobertas diária na web não entendo uma palavra sequer de inglês mas gostaria de dizer que se alguém ler o que aqui escrevo e poder passar para Tim B Parabéns você mudou a vida você merece um prêmio e reconhecimento internacional de seus feitos obrigado que Deus lhe de mais sabedoria para que você traga mais inovação as nações que se encontram domesticadas dentro de seus próprios costumes e tradições limitadas good luck for you tanks…

  2. Thiago Moreira

    Também entendo pouco de inglês, mas gostaria de deixar o meu Muito Obrigado a Sir Sir Timothy Berners-Lee ,sua descoberta é muito maior do que o Facebook, aliás, se não fosse você o Facebook nem existiria, Thanks Sir Timothy Berners-Lee, You Are My Hero…

  3. Carlos Alberto

    My first contact with the www was in 1993, where all was still over IP (sites, chats) and browsers were just pure HTML, DNS servers were being implemented. I never imagined that we would have all these developments in such a short space of time, since before 1999 when I left the university we had a great evolution in browsers and content.

    Regards Sir Timothy Berners-Lee

  4. santana

    Só consigo este contato porque existe um Sir Timothy Berners-Lee, maravilha,

  5. Marcelo Soares

    Minhas saudações Sir Timothy Berners-Lee, que todos os chefes de estados pelo mundo tenham a capacidade e o discernimento de entender que a grandeza está nos atos onde todos possam usufruir do bem comum.

  6. roberto ventura

    brother have formed and life to a tool that will be used by all mankind have life while in this world .... Praise GOD for creating intelligent men like you in the world .... Thanks a BY HAVE DONE THAT ... ..


    O mundo precisa de pessoas iluminadas como o Sr. Timothy Berners-Lee que usam a sua inteligência em beneficio da humanidade.

  8. Raquel Kelner

    You are part of history!!! Thank you for this fantastic contribution!!!!

  9. Ana Paula

    Esse é o cara…parabéns…obrigada por esse veículo de comunicação hoje impressindível!!!


    Sir Timothy Berners-Lee, parabéns! O mundo ficou pequeno com sua incrivel revolução nas comunicações. Você é realmente fantástico.

  11. Tânia D Senson

    dear Mr Tim!

    Felicitation about 25 years old by www. I love you for this!

    Best regards


    Há descobertas que ficam para a eternidade na Terra.
    Tão indispensáveis à vida como o oxigênio nos é.  Thanks forever, Sir Bernes-Lee.

  13. Regino

    Que a web seja em todo o mundo livre e que agregue conhecimentos para o bem da humanidade, tornando o mundo mais seguro e humano.

  14. Rafael Martins

    Só tenho a agradecer ao Sir Tim Berners-Lee, por tornar o mundo menos limitado, por facilitar a vida de bilhões de pessoas, por mudar o mundo. O que seria de nós hoje sem essa ferramenta maravilhosa, o mundo seria realmente globalizado? Provavelmente não, tudo seria bem mais complicado. Muitas, e muitas felicitações, hoje é um dia para se comemorar, happy bithday WWW!!!!

  15. Jairo Magalhaes

    Thank you ...

  16. Flávio Almeida

    Sir Timothy Berners-Lee, in my humble opinion, your brilliant creation is as big as the discovery of fire by man.
    Many thanks for offering us this gift that opened the door to the World and knowledge for the vast majority.
    Long and free life for the WWW.

    Best Regards!

  17. Rei Silva

    Sir Tim Berners-Lee, foi aluno de escola pública. No Brasil o que falta é oportunidades e investimento.


    O mundo precisa de pessoas como Tim Berners-Lee, que são geniais e não escondem seu conhecimento da humanidade.

  19. Neybe Nogueira Teixeira

    Me junto ao mundo para homenagear esse físico inglês   Sir Timothy Berners-Lee que respondeu ao mundo com suas ações o questionamento de Martin Luther King, quando disse: “Um indivíduo não começa verdadeiramente a viver até que consiga elevar-se acima dos horizontes estreitos das suas preocupações pessoais para as preocupações mais amplas de toda a humanidade. Todas as pessoas precisam decidir, em algum momento, se caminharão sobre a luz do altruísmo criativo ou na escuridão do egoísmo destrutivo. Esse é o julgamento.  A questão mais persistente e urgente é ‘o que você está fazendo pelos outros’?”.

  20. Antoninho Tatto

    Como Deus é bom! A cada tempo alguém surge com dons especiais para melhora a convivência das pessoas.
    Que cada um de nós possa, com os próprios dons, aproveitar bem tudo isso, para o bem de todos, para construir sempre um mundo melhor para todos.
    Que Deus abençoe sempre estas maravilhas humanas e seus inventos.

  21. Dion Dennis

    Twenty-five years ago, I entered graduate school. By the time I received my Ph.D., the very modes and nature of archival research had fundamentally changed. (Although, in the interim, I had to explain, in-depth, the methodology of web research, and hypertextuality, in the Methodology section of that dissertation).

    The Web was a transformative experience for me. Without it, I would have not been able to complete my research, or degree. I would not have had a productive publishing career, since most of my work appears in peer-reviewed e-journals. I would not have been able to negotiate with unresponsive businesses, talented students, potential employers without what the WWW provided, as a field of social and institutional interaction.

    Now that the Web’s at 25, there’s an entire a generation now born with no memory of that transformation. I’m concerned that many of them take what has emerged for granted, or use it for distraction, trivial conversation, etc. And I mourn that the darker elements of states, corporations and individuals have inevitably inserted themselves deeply into parts of its fabric.

    By way of closing, there’s an American movie from the early 1970s that comes to mind—The Great Northfield Minnesota Raid. In it, the late Cliff Robertson plays Cole Younger, the leader of an outlaw gang affiliated with Jesse James, who is oft-portrayed in awe of communications and technological advancement of his era, as an expression of the creativity of life itself. More than one time, Robertson, as Younger, appreciatively eyeing some technological advancement, says “Ain’t that a wonderment.”

    It’s our job, over the next quarter century that this profound invention, the Web, remains an inspiration and “a wonderment” and is not re-routed into a new forms of surveillance in a fear-based society.

    For now, Tim Berners-Lee, it’s still “a wonderment.” A real wonderment.

    Thank you.


    Thanks Sir Timothy Berners-Lee !

  23. Tim


    Happy birthday!

  24. Luis Rizo

    TIM thanks a lot !!
    You was simple the best !!!!
    Your insight and desire to share information was wonderful !!!
    You really changed the world !!!

  25. Freeman Presson

    Freeman Presson

    I remember when someone showed me this thing where you could “telnet info.cern.ch” and browse text links.

    All I thought at the time was, “cool, maybe we can stop sending hosts files and ftp server lists to each other on UseNet now.”

    Later, I had an early Mozilla release on a windows machine that wouldn’t stay up long enough to load more than one site, and people were already loading the WWW up with pictures!

    So that’s 25 years, eh? Laudate!

  26. YLedesma

    Sir Timothy Berners-Lee our gratitude for your exquisite and brilliant imagination.
    We are immensely grateful for the invaluable contribution to the humanity, the magnitude of your invention has brought us the infinite universal diversity in a single device, thanks to your dedication and effort. Thanks to “World Wide Web” these three words have changed the way to be informed in all areas and all sense.

  27. N Fortune

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY World Wide Web. As we celebrate your 25th, I also celebrate 20 years since we were formerly introduced and instantly fell in love with this “internet”!

    Thank you Sir Tim Berners-Lee for giving us the www….... so brilliant and so generous of you to freely share such astounding information with the world.

    Connecting us all around the world within mere seconds, acquiring information within seconds, so much can be done within seconds.  I can only imagine where the next 25 years will take us. Let’s make the net bigger, better, and easily accessible to all.

  28. Paul

    Happy birthday. The next renaissance will be stuff like the Tor network, onion routing, bit torrent. It’s already happening. But so too is the Big Brother stuff.

  29. Julio C Hegedus

    Julio C Hegedus

    Web is not what made the Internet, But is what made the Internet to be Known.

    Web is not only a communication medium, But is the medium that all communicates through.

    Web is an Idea, which is a Dimension, which is a Universe within itself.

    Web is the usable sense of freedom and where you get the perfect representation of the lack of.

    Web is the first real time machine.

    Is the first of anything, that is capable of unite the whole planet.

    Share, Buy, Sell, Know, Learn, Grow.

    I found my wife via web, My daughter’s name came from an Inernet page, My work revolve around web, I live my life with information from the Web, I have fun with web, I cry, I participate.

    The web may not be everything, and it is certainly now, less than everything it could be.

    It it really, limitless.

  30. anderson luis salomao

    Parabéns WWW transformando o mundo a cada ano que passa. =D

  31. Amanda S. Martins

    This change my life in all terms. Thanks Tim Berners-Lee.

  32. Rogério G Costa

    Extraordinário a invenção do WWW com certeza mudou o mundo.

  33. vinicius

    e simplesmente algo tão grande que Sir Timothy Berners-Lee,fez que, e quase que impossível imaginar, nossas vidas nosso trabalho o mundo, o universo que engloba nossas vidas sem a internet hoje e algo que se para-cimos pra imaginar como seria o mundo hoje, a primeira coisa que vem a mente e que a evolução que conhecemos não existiria fica aqui meus parabéns e um grande abraço para, Sir Timothy Berners-Le pelo seu trabalho.

  34. Gilson Matos da Silva

    A Humanidade não seria a mesma sem a existência da World Wide Web Foundation. Parabéns ao Sr. Tim Berners-Lee por colaborar com a democratização do conhecimento, através desse importante meio de comunicação. Sinceros agradecimentos.

  35. Amitairr Castilho

    Yes, Sir TIM BERNERS LEE…obrigado por nos dar esse mundo todo de informaçao.[ thanks for giving us this whole world of informatio]viva sempre.