A social network can be simply defined as a group of friends, colleagues,
or other contacts. While most people have multiple social networks
in their lives, the term is used most often to refer to an online
community sharing similar interests, or a website that facilitates social
Founded in 2004 and originally populated by college students as a way to
keep in touch with family and friends, Facebook has seen a large increase
in users of all ages as well as businesses who use the site for
networking. Facebook allows for easy information and multimedia
sharing and is now one of the most trafficked sites on the web, growing
by an estimated 10 million users a month.
Started by Google in 2011, Google+ has many of the same features of other
social networking sites, but is differentiated in part by its use of
"circles" which allow users to group friends into categories and share
accordingly. This is useful because it follows how humans interact
offline; we don't share the same information with a professional
colleague and a best friend, for instance. Google+ also allows
users to video chat with several friends at once.
LinkedIn was launched in 2003 as a way for professionals to connect with
each other and has since gained status as the largest professional
network on the Internet with over 120 million members worldwide.
LinkedIn allows users to make professional connections, follow companies,
and post resumes to stay ahead of the game in the business world.
Meetup.com was founded in 2001 for the express purpose of helping people
form offline clubs and friendships based on interest and geographical
location. Meetup.com allows users to join groups of interest, be
put on waiting lists for new groups to form, and organize and facilitate
their own groups. The site currently has 9.5 million members
worldwide involved in groups spanning 90,000 topics.
Social Networking - Social Media Networks