Internet marketing is the business of both advertising and selling goods and services over the internet. This form of business is ever-increasing in popularity, with millions of people now making purchases on the internet. Internet marketing began in the early 1990s as primarily a means of product description, consisting merely of text descriptions. As technology progressed, internet marketing rapidly advanced to include pictures and other rich graphics as part of advertisements for products and services. After realizing the remarkable potential of this means of marketing, internet-based companies started opening their virtual doors for business. As opposed to what are now known as "brick and mortar" operations, these e-businesses offer their products and services to a growing number of consumers, conducting all, or nearly all, of their business in the virtual world of the internet.