The World Wide Web became a global interconnected computer network available to the public on August 6, 1991, according to The Next Web. The first actual instances of connected computers in a network, known as an Internet, were in the 1960s.
Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, the US Department of Defense funded programs where computer scientists were paid to develop Internet protocols. The evolution of the Internet continued in the early 1980s when the National Science Foundation funded a program at many colleges and universities aimed at creating connected computer networks across the United States. Electronic mail and instant messaging joined the WWW as part of the public "Internet" in the mid-1990s.