In 2005, we started seeing tech industry articles announcing that the next generation of the Internet would be a social, 3D virtual world like Second Life; by 2007, many major companies had already invested in that prediction. You can see that with the progress of "social VR" as a term on Google Trends -- and also see the term start falling out of favor in 2009, when most consumers failed to embrace it, and the backlash reached full bloom. And then, after Oculus' 2012 Kickstarter, Internet chatter around the term starts picking up again. "Social VR" hit its current peak in October 2016, likely because that's when Facebook announced its own social VR platform, developed in great part by Linden Lab/Second Life veteran Jim Purbrick.
What this means depends on your perspective, and far as mine, I'll just keep it at this: If you're a developer, investor, or enthusiast of social VR, and you think it's destined for mass market appeal, just remember: Many of us have said such things before, for naught.