A social networking site is an online service, platform, or a site that focuses on facilitating the building of social networks or social relations among people who, for example, share interests, activities, backgrounds or real-life connections. It allows users to share ideas, activities, events, and interests within their individual networks. Web-based social networking sites make it possible to connect with people who share interests and activities across political and economic borders.
The appearance of social networking websites started through the formation of a company called Sixdegrees.com in 1997. It allowed users to list their profiles, make a list of friends and contact them. Unfortunately, the company closed 3 years later because many people who use the internet at that time had not formed many social networks. On 1999, it was succeeded by LiveJournal that was created in order to have one way exchange of journals between friends. In Korea, Cyworld was created in 2001 that added some social networking features. It was then followed by Lunar Storm from Sweden in the same year. Then, Ryze.com was created shortly after to link businessmen within San Francisco. The company was under the management of Friendster, LinkedIn, Tribe.net and Ryze.
Of course, there are also some advantages and disadvantages in using social networking sites. Advantages are having many connections for both personal and business use, and it is cheaper to use social networking sites because most are usually free. Disadvantages are the lack of privacy and/security settings, scams, identity theft, cyber-stalking, cases of harassment and sometimes it is time consuming.
Popular Social Networking Sites:
Friendster began its operations in the year 2002. It was a brother company to Ryze but was designed to deal with the social aspect of their market. It is where friends would propose which individuals are most compatible with one another. At first, there was an exponential growth of the Comply. However, Friendster had established a market base in one small community. After their subscribers reached overwhelming numbers, the company could no longer cope with the demand. There were numerous complaints about the way their servers were handled because subscribers would experience communication breakdowns. The Company also started limiting the level of connection between enthusiastic users.
At the time, one could only view profiles of friends who were within four degrees. Because of such limitations, some people decided to create phony friends just so that they could expand their social networks. The company banished this be deleting such profiles and these angered some users. The company had not foreseen the fact that some people just enjoyed reading such phony profiles so that they could entertain themselves. So the company lost such enthusiasts. Technical hitches began mounting and there were many social clashes. Users lost trust in the company and it started collapsing.
By 2003, there were numerous companies formed with the purpose of providing social networking service. However, most of them did not attract too much attention especially in the US market. For instance, LinkedIn and Xing were formed for business persons while services like MyChurch, Dogster and Couchsurfing were formed for social services. Other companies that had been engaging in other services started offering social networking services. For instance, the YouTube and Last.FM were initially formed to facilitate video and music sharing respectively.
MySpace realized that there was an increasing demand for the service and entered the market in 2003. The company had been formed to host some of the expelled Friendster users. For instance, music bands and other frustrated users. Bands were particularly interested in MySpace; they provided a platform for the company’s growth. Promoters in the US would use MySpace to...