June 10, 2024

When Was Screen Recording Invented?


Screen recording has come a long way.

Originally developed to help create software demos and training videos, it's now a tool used across industries for all sorts of purposes. 

Where it all began

Back in the early 1990s, screen recording was mainly a tool for software developers. They used it to show off new software features or to make training videos that explained how to use their programs. The tech was fairly basic then, and the quality of the recordings wasn't great. But it was a start.

One of the first major tools for screen recording was ScreenCam, developed by Lotus Software in 1993. It was designed for the Lotus Notes system and stood out because it was one of the first tools created just to capture screen activity.

A name for the tech

Fast forward to 2004, and screen recording started to make a name for itself. Jon Udell, a well-known columnist, asked his readers to help name this growing trend of recording screen content. 

The name they settled on was Screencast. This new term helped people differentiate between recording videos of the physical world and recording digital content from computer screens.

Growth in the 2000s

The 2000s were a turning point for screen recording, thanks to the internet and platforms like YouTube

As more people got online and began sharing videos, the demand for better screen recording tools grew. This led to the development of software like Camtasia, which offered more sophisticated editing features and improved the overall quality of screen recordings.

The mobile and cloud era

When smartphones and tablets became widespread, screen recording started to shift beyond just computers. OS systems like iOS and Android started to include built-in screen recording features, making it easy for anyone to create high-quality videos right from their mobile devices.

The move to cloud computing also changed the game. New tools allowed users to save their recordings to the cloud, making it easy to share and collaborate with others online. This was a plus for productivity and helped screen recording become even more popular.

Today's uses of screen recording

Screen recording has made its way from a niche tool for techies to a versatile and widely used tech. Over the years, it's adapted to meet users' needs, and it's likely to keep changing as tech and the way we work evolve. It's clear screen recording isn't going anywhere anytime soon.

Nowadays, screen recording is used for more than just software demos. Here are some of the key uses today:

  • Content Creation: Creators on platforms like YouTube use screen recordings to make tutorials, reviews, and other types of content.

  • Remote Work: Screen recordings help remote workers share information and explain things clearly.

  • Customer Support: This tool is effective for customer support, providing visual explanations that help solve user problems.

  • Product Demo: Demonstrating product features through screen recordings is becoming common.

  • Tutorial: Screen recordings are great for creating step-by-step guides.

  • Online Course: Instructors are incorporating screen recordings into their online course materials.

  • Launch Video: Companies use screen recordings to introduce new software or updates.

  • Community Video: These recordings are used to engage and build communities.

  • How-to Video: They help users learn specific tasks with clear, visual instructions.

These are just a few of the ways screen recording is being used today.

Best screen recording software today

Screen recording has made huge strides since the 90s. What started as basic and sometimes clunky software has transformed into today's advanced, feature-rich tools.

Screen recorders are essential today for anyone working online, teaching, or creating content. Loom is great for its video messaging and is perfect for remote interactions. Screen Studio delivers high-quality videos with ease for macOS users. Vidyard is great for sales and marketing pros looking to make impactful content.

Tella stands out, too, especially for creators. It's known for its simple and effective design, making it easy to produce a variety of content. Whether you’re making educational tutorials, business communications, or creative projects, these tools help you easily capture and share your work.

Interested in learning more about the history of tech? Check out our blog on the invention of the green screen.

Tella — Screen recording for entrepreneurs

Tella — Screen recording for entrepreneurs