Maccat was the standard bearer when I first started in 2005. The Deluxe was a relatively new product then and that seemed to be the first wave of the larger tarp movement, at least in terms of hex tarps. I think a lot of folks used Equinox 8x10 or similar squared edge tarps at that time.
IMO, with the advent of lighter materials and innovative design, I believe the trend is toward larger tarps that offer more overall peace of mind compared to an ever-dwindling weight penalty. Doesn't mean, of course, that the small tarps are going away. I just think that as the market expands, the mix of users trends toward less experience and the want for greater protection.