A social network service focuses on building online communities of people who share interests or activities. Most social network services are web based and provide a variety of ways for users to interact, such as e-mail and instant messaging services.
Emerging Trends in Social Networks
Several websites are beginning to tap into the power of the social networking model to connect various fragmented industries and small organizations, which wants to reach a broader audience with interested and passionate users. To Increase engagement, brands are allowing users to login with Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, etc. Some social networking sites are created for the benefits of others, such as parent’s social networking site “Gurgle”, which talks about pregnancy, birth and bringing up children.
Companies have found that social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter are great ways to build their brand image. Therefore, to enhance their popularity and brand image, for recruiting, to learn about new technologies and competitors, readership and social networking, many organizations are signing and forming home page on various leading Social sites. These companies are able to drive traffic to their own online sites while encouraging their consumers and clients to have discussions on how to improve or change products.
Also, people can find their clients, jobs and other opportunities due to their extensive coverage over social networks.
The leading social networking sites are:
Facebook is a social networking website, where users can join networks organized by city, workplace, school and region to connect and interact with other people. The website currently has more than 250 million active users worldwide.
Facebook has met with some controversy over the past few years. It has been blocked intermittently in several countries and also some privacy issues have been raised. A February 2009 study has ranked Facebook as the most used social network by worldwide monthly active users, followed by MySpace.
MySpace is a social networking website with an interactive, user-submitted network of friends for teenagers and adults.
MySpace became the most popular social networking site in the United States in June 2006. The company does not disclose revenues or profits separately from News Corporation and the 100 millionth account was created on August 9, 2006, in the Netherlands.
Twitter is a free social networking and micro-blogging service and its messages are called as “tweets”. While the service costs nothing to use, accessing it through SMS may incur phone service provider fees. It is sometimes described as the “SMS of the Internet”. It is ranked as one of the 50 most popular websites worldwide by Alexa’s web traffic analysis. In March 2009, a blog ranked Twitter as the fastest-growing site in the Member Communities category for February 2009.
LinkedIn is a business-oriented social networking site launched in May 2003 mainly used for professional networking. As of May 2009, it had more than 40 million registered users, spanning 170 industries.
The purpose of the site is to allow registered users to maintain a list of contact details of people they know and trust in business, which is called as “Connections”. Users can invite anyone to become a connection.
Orkut is a free-access social networking service from Google. It is designed to help users meet new friends and maintain existing relationships. Although it is less popular in the United States than its competitors Facebook and MySpace, but it is one of the most visited websites in India and Brazil. In fact, as of May 2009, 49.83% of Orkut’s users are from Brazil, followed by India with 17.51%.
Anuj Kumar/ITvoir Network