It is true that humans are private network, and the gradual evolution of social interactions between individuals within specific groups has resulted in social networking sites in the 21st century. This has been made possible by the technological advancements made in the past 50 years, resulting in the development of the Internet, which has completely changed people’s lives. Literally, almost any information is now available on the screen of a computer with the help of the Internet. Similarly, it is now possible to socialize with other members of online social networking sites in the comfort of your home simply by clicking a few buttons of the computer.
Online social networking is achieved with the help of some dedicated websites, which are known as social sites and facilitate the formation of communities of Internet users. The members share common interests such as hobbies, politics, sports, or religion. When a person becomes a member of a social networking site, he can start socializing with the other members in many ways, including sharing views regarding different topics, reading the profiles of other members, and even getting in touch with them. The other benefits of online social networking include developing friendships with members from different parts of the world and learning about different cultures and languages.
Facebook: Although there are more than a hundred social networking websites, the top 15 sites are the most popular. Nowadays, most people become members of Facebook, which can easily be classified as the most popular social networking site. It has been in existence since 2006, and initially, it was mainly meant for Harvard students. It was founded by Mr. Mark Zuckerberg with his college roommates, Eduardo Saverin, Dustin Moskovitz, and Chris Hughes. Gradually, it spread to other colleges in Boston, the Ivy League, and Stanford University, and today, it can boast of having more than 150 million members worldwide.
Having a Facebook account is like having a key to the world because it is possible to keep in touch with anyone irrespective of where the other person lives and without having to know his physical address, e-mail address, phone number, or screen name, as long as the person has been added as a friend. It is possible to write messages, chat, send instant messages, instantly share photos, blog, read, and watch all that the other person has posted. It is also possible to set up events or causes and invite friends, keeping them informed all the time. The success of Facebook can be attributed to the fact that it provides a common, level field where people from every walk of life can communicate with each other and socialize. Its popularity and wide reach has tempted marketers and businesspeople to use this website to market their products and services through articles and advertisements.
Twitter: Twitter is comparatively a new social networking site, but it has become very popular in a very short time. It is different in nature to Facebook, and its traffic interaction, website reach, and other factors are not of the level of Facebook. However, Twitter provides a better indication of what is popular, and its followers are more open and vocal. Moreover, the followers of Twitter are more interactive and take greater part in discussions. Twitter also gives a better scoop of celebrity chatter.
MySpace.com: This social networking site claims to be massive and the largest with about 191 million members.
MySpace, Twitter, and Facebook are the three most popular and biggest social networking sites. The other 12 sites, forming the top 15 sites, are enumerated below.
LinkedIn.com: This is a business networking site with 12.5 million members.
Friendster.com: Most of the users of this site are between the ages of 17 and 30, and it was considered to be the most popular social networking site till April 2004 when MySpace overtook it. It has about 29 million members.
Stumbleupon.com: It was bought by eBay in May 2007 for $75 million, and it has 2.75 million members. It is basically a web browser tool that enables its users to discover and rate news articles, photos, videos, and web pages. It is also an ideal method of getting website promotion.
Del.icio.us: It is now a part of Yahoo!, but it was founded in late 2003 by Joshua Schachter. It is basically a social bookmarking web service and is used for discovering, sharing, and storing web bookmarks.
Digg.com: This is a great site for people who are interested in discovering and sharing content from the Internet. Members submit links and stories and vote and comment on the submitted links and stories with a spirit of cooperation.