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social network is a community of people who communicate online, share information & work on project.

Updated: Feb 15, 2023

In computers, a social network is a community of people who communicate online, share information, and sometimes work together on projects.

The online experience: Billions of people have flocked to social networking sites, where members create and maintain personal profiles that they link with those of other members, eschewing the anonymity that was previously typical of the online experience. For many people, particularly young people, the older notions of community have been replaced by the resulting network of "friends" or "contacts" who share similar interests, goals in business, or academic pursuits.

Friends can comment on each other's profiles, send private messages within the network, and navigate the extensive network of friends displayed in each member's profile on the simplest social networks. Members of more advanced networks are able to add audio and video clips to their profiles, and some of them open the source code of their software to allow third-party developers to create applications or widgets, which are small programs that run on the member's profile page.

Games, quizzes, photo manipulation tools, and news tickers are among these applications. A social networking site is best when it is a hive of creativity where users and developers feed off each other's desire to see and be seen. However, critics view these websites as crass popularity contests in which "power users" compete against one another to see who can get the most friends. It is certainly possible to observe both extremes—often within the same group of "friends," with billions of unique visitors using many of these websites worldwide.

As soon as technology could support them, the first online social networks appeared. Programs for e-mail and chat first appeared in the early 1970s, but persistent communities did not emerge until 1979, when USENET was established. USENET started out as a way for Duke University and the University of North Carolina to communicate, but it soon spread to other American universities and government organizations.

Users were able to send and receive messages within what were referred to as newsgroups on USENET. Newsgroup names did not initially follow any established convention. As the number of newsgroups increased throughout the 1980s, this caused confusion. USENET groups were reorganized in 1987 into broad hierarchies like news, talk, misc, and alt (for alternative; The most popular category on USENET was the last, which was created for newsgroups that dealt with niche or taboo subjects.

Individuals were able to interact in an online social network through USENET and other discussion forums like privately hosted bulletin board systems (BBSs), but each was essentially a closed system. These systems were integrated with a graphical user interface that was simple to use when the Mosaic Web browser was released in 1993.

The World Wide Web's architecture made it possible to move from one site to another with a single click, and faster Internet connections made it possible to view more multimedia content than in text-heavy newsgroups.

How does social networking work? Websites and apps called social networks let people and organizations connect, communicate, share information, and build relationships with one another. People can connect with people who live in the same area, with their families, with friends, and with people who share their interests. One of the most important uses of the internet today is social networking.

People can maintain social connections, stay informed, access, and share a wealth of information on popular social networking sites like Facebook, Yelp, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok. Marketers can also reach their intended audiences through these websites.

Since, the first social networking site, was launched in 1997, social networking sites have come a long way. Newer social networking platforms are being rapidly adopted around the world today. A Kepios analysis from January 2022, as reported by DataReportal, revealed that there are over 4.74 billion social network users worldwide.

How is social networking carried out? Having connections in both the real and digital worlds is what's meant to be meant by the term "social networking." This term is mostly used today to refer to social communications that take place online. People can now connect with people they might never have met otherwise thanks to the internet.

Connectivity to the internet and technology are necessary for online social networking. Social networking sites can be accessed by PC, tablet, or smartphone users. The majority of social networking sites are based on searchable databases that organize, store, and retrieve data in an easy-to-understand format using advanced programming languages like Python. In its day-to-day operations, for instance, Tumblr makes use of Google Analytics, Google Workspace, and WordPress.

How do social networks work? There is no precise definition of a social network because of the wide range of online services, apps, and websites. However, social networks generally share a few distinguishing characteristics.

Content created by users will be the focus of a social network. The majority of content created by other users is viewed and acted upon by users. They are encouraged to post pictures, status updates, or text that others can see.

Users or organizations can create profiles on social networks. The individual's information as well as a centralized page containing the content they have posted can be found in their profile. Their real name may be linked to their profile.

There is a way to maintain a connection with other users on a social network. Common names for these connections are friending or following the other user. They let users find other users and build relationships through webs. A lot of the time, an algorithm will suggest other users and organizations that they might want to connect with.

What is the point of using social networking sites? Sharing is one of the four main goals of social networking. It is possible to connect remotely with geographically dispersed friends or family members and share updates, photos, and videos. Individuals can also meet others with similar interests or expand their existing social networks through social networking.

Learning. Learning platforms like social networks are fantastic. Customers can get news about breaking news, updates about friends and family, and information about what's going on in their community right away. Interacting. By removing the barriers of time and distance, social networking improves user interactions. People can talk face-to-face with anyone on the planet using cloud-based video communication technologies like WhatsApp and Instagram Live. Marketing. Companies can use social networking services to promote their brand and voice identity, increase customer retention and conversion rates, and raise brand awareness among platform users.

What kinds of social networking are there? There are many different kinds of social networking websites, but these six are the most prevalent: social connections. This is a kind of social network where people can keep in touch with friends, family, acquaintances, brands, or other people through online profiles and updates, or they can meet new friends who have interests that are similar to their own. Facebook, Instagram, and Myspace are a few examples.

ties to professionals. These professional-oriented social networks are intended for business connections. For instance, you can use these websites to look into job opportunities, make new professional connections, and strengthen ones you already have. They might provide an exclusive platform tailored to specific occupations or levels of interest, as well as a general forum where professionals can connect with coworkers. LinkedIn, Microsoft Yammer, and Microsoft Viva are a few examples. distributing multimedia. YouTube and Flickr are two of the social media platforms that offer services for sharing videos and photographs.

News or enlightening. Users of this kind of social networking site are able to post news stories, instructional or how-to content, as well as general or specialized content. Similar to web forums, these social networks contain communities of individuals seeking solutions to everyday issues. Members help others by answering questions, participating in discussion forums, or instructing others on how to complete various projects and tasks. Digg, Stack Overflow, and Reddit are some well-known examples.

Communication. Here, the goal of social networks is to let users talk directly to each other in one-on-one or group chats. They resemble instant messaging apps in that they place less emphasis on posts or updates. Snapchat, WhatsApp, and WeChat are a few examples.

Educational. Remote learning is made possible by educational social networks, which let students and teachers collaborate on school projects, do research, and interact through blogs and forums. Popular examples include ePals, LinkedIn Learning, and Google Classroom.

What are the benefits and drawbacks of using social networking sites? Social networking has its advantages and disadvantages. Toward one side, it gives unbeatable social advantages, yet it can likewise make individuals more powerless against the spread of deception, as well as protection and security dangers.

Consumers and businesses can benefit from social networking in a number of ways, including brand awareness and the ability to communicate with both new and existing customers. This raises brand awareness and makes brands more relatable.

Instant reachability: Social networking websites can provide instant reachability by erasing geographical and physical barriers between individuals.

builds a following: Businesses and organizations can use social networking to grow their global reach and build a following.

Success in business: Customers' positive reviews and comments on social networking sites can help businesses increase sales and profits. increased visits to the website. Social networking profiles can be used by businesses to increase and direct inbound traffic to their websites. They can accomplish this, for instance, by encouraging inbound linking, utilizing plugins and shareable social media buttons, or including images that arouse interest.

Additionally, social networking has the following drawbacks:

rumors and inaccurate information. Social networking platforms can allow incorrect information to slip through the cracks, wreaking havoc and creating uncertainty among customers. People frequently disregard the sources and take anything posted on social networking sites at face value. negative feedback and remarks. A well-established business can be hurt by a single negative review, especially if it is posted on a platform with a large following. A damaged business reputation frequently results in irreparable harm. Privacy and data security concerns Social networking sites may accidentally compromise customer information. For instance, in the event of a data breach on a social networking site, all users of that platform are automatically notified. Business Insider claims that over 500 million Facebook users' personal information was leaked in an April 2021 data breach. consuming procedure. Promoting a company on social media necessitates constant upkeep. Regular post creation, revision, preparation, and scheduling can take a lot of time. Small businesses that do not have the staff or resources to devote to social media marketing may find this particularly challenging.

Business applications of social networks There are numerous applications of social networks. Social media use averages more than two hours per day worldwide. This is a huge market and opportunity.

The majority of social networks are run as businesses for profit. The majority of their revenue comes from advertising and promoted content sales. Meta, the parent company of Facebook, has a market cap of almost $300 billion.

Marketing, customer research, and engagement can all benefit from using social media. They provide a means of connecting customers and businesses directly. A community can be formed around a brand. Users' likes and dislikes are gathered by social networks, allowing for highly targeted advertising. An organization can learn what people are saying about them through social media listening.

Internal social networks are being implemented by some businesses. This has the potential to boost employee satisfaction and engagement in extremely large organizations. Private social networks can also help teams work together and share information when members work from home or are geographically dispersed.

Examples of social networking Every established business now uses social media to advertise. Four examples of social networking websites are as follows:

Yelp. Social networking sites like Yelp offer crowdsourced customer reviews of these kinds of businesses or providers because choosing a restaurant, doctor, hair salon, or dentist can be difficult.

Pinterest. Users can share photos and organize links to a variety of online resources and websites on bookmarking websites like Pinterest. Pinterest lets users save specific pins to pinboards, similar to a digital scrapbook. This makes it easier to search for specific topics and share them with followers. Rover. Rover is a well-known website that connects pet owners with dog walkers, pet sitters, and boarding services for their animals. Airbnb. Airbnb makes it easy for travelers to find a place to stay based on their preferences, such as multi-shared accommodations, shared accommodations with private rooms, and entire properties. The majority of Airbnb properties are rented by their owners.

Which social networking sites rank highest? There are a lot of social networking websites, but these are the most popular ones:

Facebook. Facebook users create profiles, post status updates to their walls, share information, and send messages. Facebook has more than 2.9 billion active users, making it DataReportal's most popular social networking platform. Meta was given the company's new name in 2021 to show that it was more than just a social media company. YouTube. Users are able to share, upload, and post videos and vlogs on this well-known website for sharing videos. Global Media Insight says that more than 2 billion people use YouTube every month. WhatsApp. Users can send text messages, make video and voice calls, and share documents with this free instant messaging app. WhatsApp claims to have more than 2 billion users all over the world. Instagram. Users can share photos and videos in both long and short form on this free social media platform. Although a desktop version is also available, it is primarily intended for smartphone users on iOS and Android. However, the Instagram app is the only way to share and upload content. CNBC reports that Instagram, which is also owned by Meta, has more than 2 billion monthly active users as of December 2021.

TikTok. This app is used to create personalized short videos and share them. TikTok is well-known for being a lively and enjoyable social networking platform that targets a younger audience. TikTok will have more than 1.2 billion active users at the end of 2021, as reported in the Business of Apps newsletter. Tumblr. Users of this microblogging site can include multimedia and other types of content in short blog posts. In addition, users can make their blogs private and follow other users. Tumblr has more than 518 million user accounts as of February 2021, as reported by FinancesOnline. Twitter. This 2006-launched social media platform lets users post messages called tweets with up to 280 characters to share their thoughts and opinions with a large audience. Twitter has over 436 million users as of January 2022, according to DataReportal. Pinterest. Through tagging, users of the bookmarking website Pinterest can save and organize links to their preferred online resources and destinations. As of December 2021, Pinterest Inc. claims that the platform has 431 million global monthly active users—a decrease of 6% from the previous year. Reddit. Since its inception in 2005, Reddit has provided a wide range of forums and subforums, or subreddits, on a variety of subjects, including technology, breaking news, and sports. Users can comment on each other's posts and share content and news here. More than 50 million people use Reddit on a daily basis, according to the site. According to The Small Business Blog, this amounts to 430 million people using the site on a monthly basis as of 2019. Snapchat. This multimedia app is compatible with Android and iOS smartphones. Snapchat was established in 2011 and lets users send snaps—pictures or videos—to friends. After being viewed, these pictures vanish. By the end of 2021, Snap Inc. estimates that the app will have 319 million daily active users.

Controversies in social networks A lot of people around the world use social networks every day. As a result, their use and management are the subject of numerous debates.

Addiction to social media is becoming more common. If people don't check their social media accounts, they might start to feel anxious, or they might check them constantly. Posts on social networking sites are also carefully curated; individuals only share positive experiences. A distorted perception of reality in which the viewer believes that others live better lives than they do can result from this. As a result, social event-going anxiety (FOMO) develops.

When someone posts on social media with the intention of causing harm to another, they are committing cyberbullying. This can be done by posting private information about another person in public or by sending abusive messages. Tragically, some people have committed suicide as a result of cyberbullying. In public schools, it is now a major concern. Doxing occurs when an individual makes a public posting of another person's personally identifiable information, such as their address or phone number.

Privacy is a major concern for many social network users, as stated in the disadvantages section. The website can use anything posted to sell advertisements. Private information, embarrassing details, and location data are all examples of this. Law enforcement personnel may also request this information. Additionally, some social networks have muddled privacy settings that encourage users to accidentally disclose personal information. Social networks are also susceptible to data breaches due to the large amount of personal information they store.

Many social networks are concerned about censorship. Because social networks are private businesses, the terms of service (ToS) or administrators of the site decide whether or not a user's content is protected by government free speech laws. As a result, the website may be forced to decide for itself what is and is not permitted on the site. When it comes to political issues, hate speech, and calls to violence that may be posted by public figures, this can be especially contentious. Some say that the websites have a moral obligation to vigorously oppose all negative speech, while others say that the platforms should allow all speech and that removing content is censorship.

On social networks, it's easy to spread false information. Users are encouraged to discuss new topics or share the most recent news. As a result, hearsay and rumors may be taken as true. Others pass off their beliefs as true. Users, organizations, and even governments have been accused of intentionally disseminating false information, sometimes while posing as someone else. As a result, posts that may contain false information have begun to receive fact checking alerts from some social media platforms.

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