The concept of a platform is in widespread use across a range of disciplines. This research explores the development of the platform concept through a systematic review of the literature using algorithmic historiography. The paper generates a time-based visualisation of relationships between the most cited articles in the domain. Key structural findings are triangulated using thematic content analysis, quantitative citation and network graph analysis. The analysis delineates two conceptions of platform: interior and exterior. These two classifications provide a historical lens that demonstrate the development of the platform concept over time. Furthermore, the methodology provides a generalizable systematic approach to examining the historical development, underlying structures and significant contributions of a specific knowledge domain.