Friendvertising: Advertising and Brand Building With Social Networks

Social media encompass communication possible throughout all of the forms of social communities online. Social-media communities include forums, virtual worlds, social news organizations, social opinion-sharing sites, and social networks. Social networks are built around site platforms that enable members to develop identity profiles, interact with other members, and participate in various site activities. Social networks are 2D environments with identity representation limited to one’s profile rather than by visually detailed avatars common to virtual worlds. Although interactions with others can seemingly approximate synchronous real-time communication, the messaging structure is static rather than dynamic. Networks can be thought of as utility-based tools. They are an elegant but fun way to organize content, socialize, and promote one’s self-identity.

Despite this, social networks have grown in popularity from their ability to provide a platform for information sharing, communication, and relationship development and maintenance. In a world where individuals may have reduced physical contact and heightened time spent interacting with electronic devices, social networks have evolved to provide an online platform for personal, intimate, informal neighborhood and office chatter. They offer a sense of “contact comfort” in a society where many of us spend less time with actual people than we do with machines. Contact comfort helps to meet individual needs for affiliation and socialization. Social networks meet our need for contact comfort while also providing entertainment and information sharing.

Social networks are above all else communication hubs. While they all offer the core product of networking capabilities, networks do find ways to differentiate themselves. Myspace and Facebook support relationship building and maintenance. YouTube offers a venue for sharing and promoting videos and related opinions. Flickr enables photo sharing and reviewing. LinkedIn provides a form of self-promotion and career networking. There are niche sites as well focused on any number of hobbies and personal interests. Catster, for example, offers tips and information on caring for one’s feline companion with the added benefit of being able to talk with others who define themselves in part by the pets they love. Several social networks will be described in this chapter.

Social networks, like other online communities, are participatory, conversational, and fluid. Members produce, publish, control, critique, rank, and interact with online content. On Facebook, for instance, the second most popular social network, members can build a profile that includes information about their education, habits, favorite movies and books, and other personality indicators. They can send and receive messages to members, “friend” people, and join groups and networks. Profiles can be complemented with pictures, news feeds on member activities (e.g., Tracy just went shopping), and a variety of widgets. Widgets are small applications made up of code embedded on a Web site. Facebook widgets enable members to virtually hug, wink, smile, and engage in a host of other behaviors. Most sites offer similar features, with messaging, profiling, and friending being the core functions of any network site. The interaction with others enhances the need to return to the site and continue the process of generating new content. The result is an online community of friends who may spend hours in the network each day.

Mashable, a social-networking news Web site, claims more than 350 social-networking sites exist. It wasn’t terribly long ago that social networking was thought of primarily as a teenage pastime with general Internet population statistics suggesting only about 15% of Internet users visited social-networking sites.’ Since those early days of online communities, social networking has taken off as a cultural phenomenon among youth with 70% of teens reporting use of online networking sites. These days adults, too, are social-networking online. Social-networking sites are among the fastest growing and most commonly visited sites online. According to Nielsen/NetRatings, the top ten most-visited social networking sites reach 45% of active Internet users. Despite the diversity of sites targeting Internet users based on a host of hobbies, interests, and demographic characteristics, two sites, MySpace and Facebook, reach more than any of the others. It is reported by comScore that MySpace reached more than 40% and Facebook near 20% of Internet users in the United States. The raw figures amount to hundreds of millions of unique visitors at these sites.

There is no doubt that much of this growth can be attributed to the attractive features social networks offer members. At the same time, the flat learning curve for new adopters surely plays a role. Most networking sites have advanced options for members, but the basics of joining, completing a profile, and sending and receiving messages are simple enough to be mastered in moments. The ease of use has resulted in a steep rate of adoption for social-networking sites.

Given the audience size and the length of exposure time consumers spend in the network, it is no wonder that advertisers have embraced social networks for social-media marketing more than any other community environment. eMarketer estimates that marketers spent $920 million on social network advertising in 2007, including online display advertising, in-network community sites, and brand profile pages. What’s more, the research firm predicts spending on social-network advertising to reach nearly $3 billion in less than five years. This figure may sound more impressive than it actually is given that social-network advertising is still under 5% of the total expenditures on online advertising. Additionally, the vast majority of spending is directed at the two juggernauts of social networks, MySpace and Facebook. More than 70% of ad expenditures directed to social networks in the United States is placed in these two networks. Though social networks are strong in international markets, social-network advertising is for now a phenomenon focused on consumers in the United States; U.S. spending accounts for 75% of all advertising in this venue.

Social-Networking Sites and Categories

Social-networking sites can be classified into four primary categories. General social-networking sites, like MySpace, have social networking among friends as the primary focus. There are also several social-network sites that are affiliated with major portals (like Yahoo! 360). Because of their portal affiliation, they are typically separated from general sites for classification purposes. Lastly, there are vertical social networks. Vertical social networks differentiate themselves by emphasizing some common hobby, interest, or characteristic that draws members to the site. These vertical networks do not attract the same traffic typical of general sites, but one might argue that the members are more involved because of the common interest that initially brought them to the site. Within this realm of vertical networks, sites exist for pet lovers (e.g., Catster), photography (e.g., Flickr), soccer fans (e.g., Joga), gays and lesbians (e.g., Glee), and more. Examples of each type of social-networking site are provided in Table 3.1.

Some social-networking sites are generating advertising revenue on a larger scale than others; eMarketer predicts that MySpace will capture a full 60% of the market for ad spending. Other major players for advertisers including smaller sites like sites like Facebook, Bebo, and Piczo, which expected to earn about 23% of ad spending on the social-networking realm. Portal-affiliated sites will garner about 11% of ad spending and vertical sites about 5%. It probably comes as no surprise that Myspace earns the lion’s share of ad spending, at more than $510 million for 2007 alone!

The landscape of social-networking sites changes daily as new entrants seek to enter a growing market. The number of sites with reasonably large name recognition is fairly small, but the Mashable lists entries for 350 social-networking sites! A few examples are highlighted below.

MySpace.com: A Place for Friends

Myspace is a general social-networking site with more than 100 million registered profiles and unique visitors exceeding 64 million per month. It is the mass market of social networking, akin to the Super Bowl for television advertising. In fact, the most recent Super Bowl broadcast partnered with MySpace to deliver additional advertising impressions for Super Bowl commercials by offering a MySpace community site dedicated to the ads. MySpace was initially intended for an audience of teens and young adults, but an analysis of MySpace user demographics from comScore corrects that perception. MySpace’s age demographic is distributed over a range of ages with its largest category being the 35-45 age group (making up 40% of MySpace’s user base). A strength of MySpace is its broad appeal, developing at least in part from its vast array of features, including individual profiles, music, video, instant messaging capabilities, blogs, groups and communities, and a host of others. Given that social-networking sites exist (at least from the user perspective) to create and maintain personal relationships, using the largest network increases the likelihood of an existing friend base. Niche networks, in contrast, must rely on invitations from users to build membership and expand network. MySpace is the most successful network in leveraging what is known as the network effect. The network effect explains that a network gains value as more people join the network.

MySpace recently announced one of the most advanced developments in social-network advertising. It now offers an advertising solution for businesses that claims to microtarget ads to members. Because the ads are highly targeted based on the data in user profiles, the ads should have more relevance to and meaning for the target audience, resulting in a higher rate of response. This system promises to improve online advertising, especially for local advertisers, but its accuracy depends upon the accuracy of the data in user profiles and the quality of the data-mining function used to extract the segments for targeting. In addition to targeted display ads, brands can create brand profiles and communities.

Facebook

Facebook is the second largest social network. Though largely dwarfed by MySpace’s size and traffic, it boasts highly involved members, many of whom report spending hours each day on the site and constantly checking for new Facebook messages on their mobile phones. When Facebook launched in February of 2004, it focused on high school and college students, relying on existing tangible networks to build the virtual network base. It has been enormously successful with the college audience. According to the GenX27 Youth Research Initiative, a higher percentage of college students use and prefer Facebook over MySpace. According to Student Monitor’s Lifestyle & Media Study, Facebook is one of the top five “in” things to do on college campuses, second to iPods, named by 73% of students and tying with beer, which was named by 71% of students. Early estimates suggest that about 85% of all college students use Facebook, with 60% of them logging in daily, spending about a half hour per day on the site. Since that time, it has opened the site to non-students, expanded to several other countries, and earned more than 27 million members. An article featuring Facebook in Fast Company magazine reports that Facebook boasts 47,000 networks, 30 billion page views per month, and more photos than any other photo-sharing site, and is the sixth most trafficked Web site.

Facebook has offered advertisers more strategic value than perhaps any other social network. It has accomplished this with a mix of strategic vehicles, including targeted display ads and sponsored stories, known as Social Ads and Sponsored Stories, branded profiles known as Facebook Pages, a developer incentive program to encourage content development called Facebook Developers, and a social news feed of brand-related user behavior called Beacon.

Facebook Social Ads are targeted at specific users based on member profiles and behavior in the network. For instance, Facebook Social Ads can be delivered to users whose friends have recently engaged with the brand’s Facebook profile or visited the brand’s Web site. Even the location of delivery for social ads can be targeted with ads appearing next to news feeds of friends (a Facebook feature that allows friends to update others on their recent activities) who mention the brand. By delivering ad impressions that are related to news feeds, Facebook encourages discussion and word-of-mouth communication about a brand.

Facebook Pages are brand equivalents to user profiles. It is the location on the site where brands develop their brand personas. They can be enhanced with applications from the business itself and from developer widget applications.

The free developers feature enables programmers to create widgets, mash-ups, tools, and projects for Facebook users. These small applications are popular with consumers and are useful to brands that utilize them to maintain a presence on user profiles. For example, FaceBank is a widget that enables Facebook users to track expenses (and share information about expenses with friends). Another popular application is Lickuacious, which lets users rank friends according to the popularity of their wall posts. The Wall is Facebook’s comments feature.

Facebook Beacon offers brands a way to virally distribute information about user brand-related activity. News feeds notify friends of a user’s engagement with a brand’s profile and Web site along with specific product search history and purchases. The news feed stories act as a form of word-of-mouth promotion. Further, they are targeted in that the feeds are then seen by friends who are also likely to be interested in the brand. Beacon offers a potentially powerful way to utilize the influence tactic of social proof, the influence a group of others have over a consumer’s decision. This feature should provide more value for advertisers who will benefit from the additional exposure and the easy transference of opinion-leader information to others in the network. However, it has been criticized by privacy advocates and some brands publicly expressed a discomfort with the degree of user information it reveals.

HD Camcorders Give Muscle to Blogging, Social Networking Work

With short attention span of many web surfers, means the power of video sharing and the power of video influence on people, has become a unstoppable event to the point , were TV shows are base around video sharing sites , such as YouTube.

If video is your main promotional tool, a free service named TubeMogul can save you hours. You upload your video to TubeMogul, and then it disseminates it for you to the major video sharing sites. It automatically converts your video to each site s required format, and it provides detailed metrics on viewership, monitors comments, and emails you reports. It also allows you to schedule deployment, so you can go live at the right time for your campaign. The service will submit your videos to all of the major social bookmarking sites as well, making it a powerful tool for anyone trying to get the most out of video marketing with limited resources.

Google loves videos, as a result growing number of bloggers are including videos in their blogs. Why? Video marketing has proven to drive targeted traffic to any website. One of the big advantages to video marketing is that all search engines love videos.

That as soon as you start incorporating video into your blog or website, you will start to see how easy it is to drive traffic to your website.

Now that this technology is at the finger tips of every online marketer, the creation of Video Blog, boosting your patronage could not be easier. Video sharing is becoming a necessity for big business, as well as smart internet marketers. More businesses are profiting from the benefits of movies. Promotional videos are coming to the forefront of most business marketing strategies. You can make the most of video sharing to ensure effective communication, promote your new products, and draw more visitors to your website.

How to choose the Best HD Camcorder? There many camcorders on the market which deliver HD recording, portable, and no fuss, and must for any social networking aficionados or internet marketers.

Here just a few on the market:

Kodak Zi6: YouTube aficionados and other social network user will love this trendy looking, point and use Kodak. It has its limitations, but at the price and with the bonus of HD, its going to be snapped up.

Samsung SMX-C10: A simple no frills pocket sized camcorder that is perfect for YouTube and other social networking websites. It would also be a great first camcorder for children.

Sony MHS -PM5: Not a camcorder for an ambitious user or dedicated memory keeper, but excellent for user into blogging, social networking and generally being connected on the go.

Flip Video Mino HD Camcorder: Flip Video Mino HD Camcorder is not designed to compete with larger camcorders, like a Samsung HMX20C or Canon HF 100, but as a Stand alone Fun unit, it scores.

JVC Picisio GC- FM1: You can’t judge these phone style camcorders with the likes of others. But this is one of the best in this category; it’s stylish, well made and easy to use.

All theses pocket HD camcorders come with pre-loaded software which can uploaded to your computer which in turn makes it easy to email videos, edit individual clips, make custom movies, capture still-image snapshots, and upload video to Facebook, MySpace , YouTube and other sharing sites, Pocket digital camcorders have held the advantage over their larger brethren for creating large amounts of content quickly and at an affordable price, which you can more easily put online. Now the latest models from several companies are advertising the ability to capture high resolution video.

Advantages of a pocket camcorder

Price (lower)

Size (smaller)

Weight (lighter)

Video capture (easier)

Video Compression (faster)

Recharging (quicker)

Uploading (simpler)

Putting video on your own website — even if you have the memory board space — can dramatically slow down response time for the rest of your website users, so it’s wise to host it on a separate site. There are many free video sharing sites, such as YouTube.

In deed, great video is more muscular thousands times than text, picture, word. However, how to make great videos and where to place or share these videos, you could gain the expected result.

The Impact of Social Networking Sites on Adolescents

Having an account in a Social Networking Site (SNS) is a style statement for children, adolescents and teenagers these days. They find themselves handicapped if they are not on any of the SNSs. Even if they don’t know about the sites like timesofindia.indiatimes.com, they will definitely know about Facebook, Orkut and Twitter and, they call the people outdated who don’t have an account in SNSs, especially like Facebook.

A Social Networking Site is a platform that highlights the building of social relations amongst the people who can share activities and interests. SNSs are mostly web-based and offer means for users to interact through the Internet such as online chats and e-mails. Users are allowed to share activities, ideas, interests and even events within their individual networks. With the help of the World Wide Web the early social networking began in the form of generalized communities that developed online such as Geocities (1994), Theglobe.com (1995) and Tripod.com (1995).

These early communities were created mainly to focus on bringing people together to interact with each other virtually through online chat rooms. These sites also encourage users to share their ideas and personal information through personal web pages by providing them with easy-to-use publishing tools and free or low-cost web space. A different approach was taken by the site Classmates.com which made people link to each other through e-mail addresses. In the late 1990s, user profiles got the central focus on all the social networking sites. It allowed its users to bring together lists of friends and also search for other users who share the similar interest.

By the end of the 1990s, many new social networking sites came up and many other sites started to build up more advanced features to help users to find more friends and also manage them. The new generation of social networking sites started to prosper with the emerging of SixDegrees.com in 1997 followed by other sites such as Makeoutclub in 2000, and Friendster in 2002 which became a vital part of the mainstream Internet. Friendster became very popular and a year later was followed by LinkedIn followed by MySpace and lastly Bebo. Recently, it has been estimated that today there are over 200 active sites which use a wide variety of social networking units.

Many people use social networking sites for business purpose also. But when children or adolescents use it, they simply keep their contacts with their known ones, though there is an age bar for creating an account in the sites. The impact of social networking sites is mostly negative as they start giving a major part of their time to these sites rather than studying or involving themselves in some productive works. Now children use up most of their time in chatting with friends and even with unknown people than going out for hanging around with friends or playing any sport. The social networking sites are making the young generation unfriendly. In many cases it has been found that children don’t know who their next door neighbors are because they don’t feel like finding out because they get more pleasure making new friends on the SNSs.

Social Media: Where to Begin?

What is Social Media?

The most ideal approach to characterize Social Media is to separate it. Media is an instrument on correspondence, similar to a daily paper, radio or TV. Thusly Social Media would be the social instrument on correspondence.

Is Social Media and Social News the same?

“The Media”. To exacerbate matters, we likewise get mistook for the way that a Social News site is additionally a Social Media site as it falls into that more extensive class.

Saying that Social News is the same as Social Media resemble saying that Cars are Transport. A Car is a kind of transport, on the other hand so are Bikes, Boats and Planes. So while Social News is a type of Social Media, so are Social Networking and Wikis.

Here are a few case of Social Media Websites:

Social Bookmarking: Delicious, Blinklist and Simpy. You communicate by labeling sites and pursuit through sites bookmarked by other individuals.

Social News: Digg, Propeller and Reddit. You connect by voting in favor of articles and remark on them.

Long range interpersonal communication: Facebook, Twitter, Hi5 and Last.FM. You communicate by including companions, taking after individuals, remarking on profiles, joining aggregates and having talks.

Social Photo and Video Sharing: YouTube and Flickr. You collaborate by sharing photographs or recordings and remarking on client entries.

Wikis: Wikipedia and Wikia. You collaborate by including articles and altering existing articles.

What is it?

Person to person communication depends on a specific structure that permits individuals to both express their uniqueness, conclusions, feelings and contemplations whilst meeting individuals with comparable interests. The structure will normally incorporate having profiles, companions or adherents, blog entries, gadgets and frequently something extraordinary to the webpage itself. For instance on Facebook you’re ready to “Jab” somebody, on Twitter you can “Re-Tweet” somebody and on “Bebo” you can share love once every day.

Profile: This is the place you round out an online portfolio in regards to essential data about yourself. It allows you to transfer a photograph of yourself, notice where you live, how old you are, your interests and some identity questions. The inquiries are generally something very standard, for example, “What is your most loved Film/Book/Color?”

Companions: We’ve all got companions and there is most likely your companions are as of now on these destinations. Companions on your Social Networking locales are trusted individuals of the site that are permitted to post remarks on your profile or send you private messages. You can likewise watch how your companions are utilizing Social Networking, for example, when they post another photo or upgrade their profile. This is the manner by which we stay associated.

Companions are the bread and spread of Social Networking. I ought to bring up that not all Social Networking destinations will allude to your companions as “companions”. For instance on Twitter they are known as “adherents” and on LinkedIn they are known as “associations”.

Bunches: Most Social Networking destinations will utilize gatherings to help you discover individuals with comparative interests with you. It can likewise be utilized for to connect with as a part of dialogs on specific points, for example, Global Warming or The Lost Series.

Online journals: Blogs are an element that some Social Networking destinations will have. These won’t be as broad as a WordPress or Blogger, yet they are still there for you to keep individuals upgraded. Consider it as a more extended Status or Tweet. At times there are minutes when you’d like to share something sensibly long yet simply don’t have any desire to fire up a full time blog. This is the place the site highlight proves to be useful.

Gadgets: Another method for telling individuals what you’re occupied with is through Widgets. Some Social Networking destinations have what we call a ‘Gadget Gallery’. From here you can choose which Widgets suit you and post them on your profile. This permits individuals to take surveys for instance, or experience another bit of music. Indeed, even round out a poll that you’ve concocted.

Why Start Social Networking?

Interpersonal interaction, as I’ve said, is all over the place. There are such a variety of individuals as of now on Social Networking destinations and more individuals sign up every single day. Other than messaging and telephone calls, it is the most progressive and regular approach to associate with your loved ones. It’s amazing and not only for individual use. A large number of business have thrive as a result of Social Networking. It’s free notice and empowers you to make a notoriety for yourself. You’re ready to advance yourself, clarify forthcoming offers, arrangements and general news.

The vast majority of us have leisure activities or things that we are exceptionally keen on, for example, Films, Books, Games, Sports and Music. Long range interpersonal communication permits us to connect with other individuals who have the same interests. It’s an awesome method for finding new things. You will find that individuals will comparative interests may like something else likewise, which thusly, will pick up your advantage. For instance in the event that you and another person have the same enthusiasm for the band ‘Enter Shikari’, you may find that they additionally appreciate different groups of a comparable classification that you have not knew about.

Am I excessively old, making it impossible to begin Social Networking?

No.

You’re never excessively old, making it impossible to begin Social Networking. In case you’re agonized over it being excessively troublesome or specialized for you, making it impossible to utilize, then don’t be. Long range interpersonal communication destinations are intended to be straightforward and simple to utilize with the goal that they can augment their crowd to everybody. There isn’t an age breaking point to Social Networking. It is fitting not to let youngsters on without parental supervision but rather other than that thumbs up and join!

You will find that there are particular gatherings committed to individuals of specific eras. This could be anything from “Music from the 60’s” to “Would you say you are terrified of you PC as well?”. There will be other individuals of a comparable age if not more seasoned than you, who can help you with specific issues or issues you may have with Social Networking. In the event that you have kids or grandchildren, approach them for help. Long range informal communication has turned out to be second nature for kids nowadays thus along these lines they ought to have the capacity to guide you through everything that you have to know.

How would I begin with Social Networking?

Much the same as heading off to a gathering, going outdoors or joining a book club, Social Networking can be a great deal of fun.

It can be extremely beneficial for your business as well as vocation, much the same as going to business workshops or a business gathering. Long range interpersonal communication implies distinctive things for various individuals. Everybody has their own particular increases from it however you’ll never realize what you can accomplish or encounter through Social Networking until you try it out for yourself.

The most well-known Social Network, Facebook, has come to more than One Billion clients as of September 2012. This incorporates big names, for example, Actors, Comedians, Musicians, Bands, Scientists and Athletes and so forth. Organizations are additionally on Facebook. For instance Game, the gaming business retailer, has a primary Facebook page and one set up for every individual branch or area. Diversion utilizes this to advance what arrangements are as of now on, when you can pre-arrange new things and general news to its companions and adherents.

Facebook however isn’t the only one. There are numerous other Social Networking destinations that take into account general interests, for example, MySpace, Google+ and Twitter. At that point there are those that take into account particular interests, for example, Flixter which is a Social Network for Film Lovers.

What Social Network is a good fit for me?

The principal question you need to ask yourself is; ‘The thing that would I like to pick up from Social Networking?’

Is it accurate to say that you are hoping to talk about movies with somebody? Are you seeming to have the capacity to stay better associated with your companions

Benefits of Travel-related Social Networking Sites

Social networking websites were made for socializing and networking. They were made for like minded people to connect all across the entire world. Most social networking sites are made strictly for people to meet and connect, not to be sold stuff. For those of you that like to travel just like myself, the benefits of belonging to a travel-related social networking site are endless.

Belonging to a travel-related social networking site will allow you to network with other people to make your travel experience the very best. You will be able to find the best travel deals around, find out which places are a MUST to visit, meet new travel friends, and even find new jobs. If you enjoy traveling, you will be amongst a hardcore group of ardent traveling individuals. You will be able to share your traveling experiences and listen to others’ traveling experiences. I have found the best travel deals around from networking with other dedicated travelers. If you enjoy traveling as much as I do and do not have a lot of money, I suggest joining a travel-related social networking site as soon as you possibly can. I promise you that you will also find some of your best travel companions ever joining one of these sites since they will share very similar interests as you.

When you join a social networking site you have to be yourself. You need to let people know who you are and what you are all about. By being honest, you will naturally attract many people who share similar interests as you. Once you share common interests with people, it is easy to strike up conversations. Conversations will lead to many travel companions and even relationships. Not only that, if you want to visit other parts of the world or other cities or states, you will be able to travel and meet other people that can show you around town. There is nothing like going to another country or city and having a person that knows the ropes. You will be able to experience that country, state, or city to its fullest. There is a lot of hidden places in various cities that only the locals know about. You can really see things that are breathtaking and unforgettable.

If your hopes and dreams are to travel all across the world, you can’t go wrong joining a travel-related social networking site. The benefits are endless, especially if you are looking to experience the authenticity of each country and find the best travel deals around. When I joined a travel social networking site, within 5 minutes after I posted a message looking for a coupon code for Orbitz to go to Las Vegas, someone replied with a coupon code that saved me over $100.00! The majority of people on travel-related social networking sites are ready and willing to help anytime you need to find the best deal. I am able to travel all around the world for the best deals humanly possible!

History Of Social Networking Websites

Introduction

Social networking websites may be defined as sites that allow users to build a profile that will be made public within an enclosed system. Social networking websites also allow users to display some of the other users they communicate with and they allow them to view lists of other members found within the system. It should be noted that the main purpose behind creation of a social networking website is to enable persons to avail pre-existing connections. Social networking websites have also been created for the purpose of initiating friendships between strangers. (Acquisti & Gross, 2006)

Users who join Social networking websites are required to make a profile of themselves by filling up a form. After filling up the forms, users are supposed to give out information about their personality attributes and personal appearances. Some social networking websites require photos but most of them will give details about one’s age, preference, likes and dislikes. Some social networking websites like Facebook allow users to customize their profiles by adding multimedia content. (Geroimenko & Chen, 2007)

History of social networking websites

The first hint of social networking websites was witnessed in the year 1997 through formation of a certain company called Sixdegrees.com. This company was the first of its kind; it allowed user to list their profiles, provide a list of friends and then contact them. However, the Company did not do very well as it eventually closed three years later. The reason for this was that many people using the internet at that time had not formed many social networks hence there was little room for maneuver. It should be noted that there were also other elements that hinted at Social network websites. For instance, dating sites required users to give their profiles but they could not share other people’s websites. Additionally, there were some websites that would link former school mates but the lists could not be shared with others. (Cassidy, 2006)

After this there was the creation of LiveJournal in the year 1999. It was created in order to facilitate one way exchanges of journals between friends. Another company in Korea called Cyworld added some social networking features in the year 2001. This was then followed by Lunar Storm in Sweden during the same year. They include things like diary pages and friends lists. Additionally, Ryze.com also established itself in the market. It was created with the purpose of linking business men within San Francisco. The Company was under the management of Friendster, LinkedIn, Tribe.net and Ryze. The latter company was the least successful among all others. However, Tribe.net specialized in the business world but Friendster initially did well; this did not last for long. (Cohen, 2003)

The most significant companies in the history of social networking websites are as follows

Facebook
MySpace
Friendster

The rest of the essay shall examine how these particular companies were formed.

Friendster

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. The company was like a dating service, however, match making was not done in the typical way where strangers met. Instead, friends would propose which individuals are most compatible with one another. At first, there was an exponential growth of the Comply. This was especially after introduction of network for gay men and increase in number of bloggers. The latter would usually tell their friends about the advantages of social networking through Friendster and this led to further expansion. 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. As if this was not enough, social networks in the real world were not doing well; some people would find themselves dating their bosses or former classmates since the virtual community created by the company was rather small. The Company also started limiting the level of connection between enthusiastic users. (Boyd, 2004)

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. (Boyd, 2004)

MySpace

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. However, the started adopted social networking services. (Backstrom et al, 2006)

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 advertise upcoming gigs. On the other hand, fans got a chance to reach their stars and the company began growing. T first it was through word of mouth. This was especially after some rumors started flying that Friendster would begin charging for their services. (ComScore, 2007)

MySpace grew rapidly because they customized services depending on what customers were looking for. Furthermore, the company did not restrict age groups like Friendster did. This allowed teenagers to join the company as they wished. Music bands were the main attraction to these sites as friends spread the word around it. However, this lack of restrictions brought problems for the company later because there were cases of abusing minors. Despite this, the company did well after earning recognition form media sources in 2005.

With time, other social networking services entered the market even though most of them did relatively well in non-English speaking countries. Some of them include Orkut in Brazil, Lunar Storm in Sweden, Grono in Poland and Cyworld in South Korea. (Choi, 2006)

Facebook

This social networking service was introduced with the purpose of linking friends in Harvard University in 2004. Thereafter, the company expanded to other universities then colleges. Eventually, they invited corporate communities. But this does not mean that profiles would be interchanged at will. There are lots of restrictions between friends who join the universities social network because they have to have the .edu address. Additionally, those joining corporate network must also have the .com attachment. This company prides itself in their ability to maintain privacy and niche communities and have been instrumental in learning institutions. (Charnigo & Barnett-Ellis, 2007)

Conclusion

Social networking services were started with the intention of linking small communities. Elements of these features were present in the past but very few companies offered all the three essential features that make social networking websites. These are an ability to create profiles, provide the profiles to other users and also to view their users’ lists. All service networking companies have had major differences because of restrictions or access to the above three features. MySpace and Facebook are one of the most reputable companies in the industry. However, they have had their share of legal complaints too. This is especially in instances where restrictions were kept at a minimum or were overdone.

The 3 Main Types of Social Networking Sites

Social networking is a branch of internet business where you can market any kinds of products and services. There have been lots of websites that were created the past few years. In fact, there are numerous social networking sites launched every year. The general advantage of these sites allows you to freely market your business anytime and anywhere. Knowing the main types of social networking sites will help you choose on which particular sites to go to.

Among the popular types of social networking sites are user generated sites. User generated sites are websites where everyone can freely register an account. Some of the popular sites for mass users are Twitter, Facebook and Myspace. This kind of social networking site gives you the freedom to interact with other people anywhere around the globe. It is also a type of site where you can market for your business since many users are logging in every minute. Joining to any famous user generated sites can provide you a means for business marketing.

Video and photography sites are other popular type of social networking sites. These sites let you upload unlimited photos and any length of videos. Actually, this kind of site can be categorized as user generated site too because anyone can register and have his own account. It means you can still make interaction and send messages but only through pictures and video clips. In internet business, you can also use photography and videos to advertise your products. Sharing videos and photos regarding your business is a good option for marketing.

The last type of social networking site where you can do online marketing is blog sites. Blog sites provide you the best ways to share information about your products you are marketing or other details related to your business. Word Press and Blogger are two of the most famous blog sites where you can do both social networking and internet business. Creating blog sites for your business is another key to get higher sales income.

Why Are Social Networking Sites So Great ?

Social networking sites have had individuals hang out and help to socialize with their friends. They are just like a most loved spot that you need to go to meet your friends, individuals in your town or district.

Many people befuddle these sites as were zones of business exchanges and commercial transactions are made, in real they are far away from that.

Proficient social networking has been a lot easier to social media sites. Social networking sites are loaded with the ability to take advantage of hundreds of relevant links for a touch of a button. These sites have many social opportunities, such as the ability to connect people of same field, to impress with your professionalism, and to gather information that can help honestly.
Without a doubt business visionaries hang out there and arrangement, even produced arrangements out there.

Be that as it may, mostly social site are
used for the development and foundation of a relationship. The vast majority are even aggravated when they are immersed with advertisements pitching constant flow of business opportunities most recent.

For getting success and popularity for a social site, it is more essential to use in conjunction with your site or blog. These sorts of website can be best portrayed as an internet webpage where individuals accumulate to share their views and talk.

To effectively utilize social sites is to recall that these locales are offering joy, happiness and relaxation without any doubt and condition. They are viewed as cool spots and review the best spots of your city. You will discover here fun, excitement and a gathering climate more often than not. Individuals unite with interpersonal interaction destinations out there, and discover other individuals. Imagine why people are eagerly connected to social site? Answer is People connect to social networking sites out there to find and meeting people, talking with them and share views and thoughts in the last finding friends out there.

Since I’ve recently given a rundown of what interpersonal interaction is going to remember are a need for any business. Likewise with any business, particularly your own, you are willful advertising individual in your online business.

At social networking sites, you can not only having lots of fun in talking others but also develop a personality that can help promote you communicate to anyone on the Internet. Most of the people follow and buy from people they trust and see the manager.

Often, people are inclined people like them. If you are socializing with people on the Internet, there’s a good chance to talk with your target audience, the best you’ve made a new friend.

How You Can Advertise Your Business On Social Networking Sites?

Today, social media is becoming very popular, it provides effective exposure to the business quickly and efficiently. If you are a business owner, then you are probably continuously seeking for cheaper and better ways to promote your business, to make your brand better known, interact with customers and attract millions of new customers to your business website. With today’s technology oriented world you can find many ways to boost your business success. Social media marketing is a most effective way to advertise the business, it helps a business owner to interact with their customers on a personal level.

Now, many businesses have made the best use of this platform to make better sales and grow. Social media can help you in getting higher ranks for your business websites along with increased quality traffic inflow. With the help of social media you can create as stronger presence of your business and brand to all over the world and to a much larger number of audience without having to spend anything extra. Advertising and launching a business through social media is not only convenient, but also saves your marketing costs. Social media give you an opportunity to understand the customers in a better manner which can help you achieve higher sales figure.

If you are also starting a new business and wants to boost your sales, then marketing on social networking sites is the best decision for you. social media marketing is one of the most effective and powerful form of marketing that help you to boost your sales and build a strong online presence. If you have no idea how to advertise your business on social networking websites, then you can take the help of the professionals to accomplish this task. There are a number of companies are available in the market that help you to advertise your business over the internet or social networking sites.

The companies that offer the online marketing services help you in protecting your online reputation. You can find these companies with the help of the web and hire them according to your budget and requirements. Before you hire the company that offers the online marketing services, it is important to do a complete research about their background. You can take the help of the internet to accomplish this task. There are some important questions that you should ask from a company before making your final decision such as how much experience do you have? Are you licensed? How can I contact you? Can you give me the list of your previous clients?

Social Networking: Are we making choices anymore?

Four thousand five hundred and thirty eight friends on Facebook. Are you even allowed to do that?

It is needless to state that Facebook has become an integral part of our day to day lives. A ritual, a tradition, an inescapable truth and probably would be a part of children’s night stories a generation after us. How much of it is done because you want to do it? Or perhaps it has settled in our minds with so much conviction that it almost suffices as a need rather than a necessity. You have been doing this for quite some time now, your friends are doing it, all those people at your office are doing it and virtually everybody is doing it or reading it.

It is a factnow. Then what is this article about? Why are you reading it? Probably you are thinking even the writer must be on Facebook while writing this. Well you are not wrong I am on Facebook, as I write this. And I include myself in this introspection because of my own over indulgence in social networking. Facebook is amazing; it has opened a whole new world of reality for us. A world that would have existed for so long and only became obvious to us after Facebook. But the thing is addiction is almost next to enslavement. And slavery is a very negative context to put anyone in. And some might state that slavery is something that you are made to do unwillingly. Again my question pops up. What do you will? You will to read this article and if you don’t you’d immediately switch over to something else. Do you get this liberty everywhere? Why would I ever leave a social networking site, I mean why would you want to do it? You must be thinking the person writing is a forever loner and you don’t want to be excluded out of the world. I read a status a few days back which read “Quitting Facebook is like running away from home, you always will come back.” That is faith. Faith is a very powerful word. Faith is a necessity.

It is a necessity to be updated and to be in the social crowd. And it is so urgent that any extent is not too far for a patron. And by extent I intend to suggest, the way people project themselves on these social networking sites. You have not only projected and crafted an image but are slogging hard to keep up to it. What is this urge that did not exist a few years ago and it is absolutely unavoidable now? I think it is a phase and it is a very strong phase like that of the punks and hippies. I wonder if Facebook was some sort of a political organization than it could have turned the world upside down overnight. And as a matter of fact, it is being used for propagating agendas or to fulfill ulterior motives. But then it provides a lot of individual space to its users also. Like never before, people are able to showcase their talents on social networks to people all over the world. Facebook feels likesome kind of a force and it has struck us hard. It suggests the need for people to be in touch with people. May be this is why the world is moving towards virtual companionship looking for people to talk to,who don’t even exist. Why is all this being mentioned here, what is the point?

The point is, do we actually need the things we think we need? Are we able to make our own choices? Yes of course we do, who else does it? That is a good question.