Social networking is the latest fad among the young and old. Social network sites have become a great platform for people of different walks of like to express their views and ideas and meet people with similar interests. There are hundreds of social networking sites on the internet these which have attracted millions of web browsers.
This trend of social networking is quite new. It all began in 1995, when some early networking sites started. One of the first of such sites was Classmates.com. This site was meant to connect old classmates. Another site called SixDegrees.com became very popular in 1997. This site focused on indirect ties among people. This site allowed users to create their profile and they could send messages to other user on their “friends list”. Users were able to interact with members who had similar interests as theirs.
But the real boom in the social networking came after 2004. Many networking sites were launched in this time. One of the today’s most popular networking sites Facebook was launched in February 2004 and it completely changed the face of social networking. The CEO of Facebook Mr. Mark Zuckerberg hit a complete jackpot. He became the youngest self-made billionaire ever at the age of 23. Another couple Michael and Xochi created a website called an extremely successful website called Bebo and sold it AOL for $850 million out of which they got $600 million. n.
The success of Facebook inspired other companies to launch their own social networking sites. In March 2005, Yahoo’s network called Yahoo 360º was launched. In the same year, one of the most successful social networking sites called MySpace was launched.
By the year 2005, MySpace had become extremely popular and it was getting more hits than Facebook which was also growing very fast. The popularity of Facebook increased in 2007 when it allowed add-ons on its website to be used by the members. Other then these, another networking site called Orkut which was launched in 2004 has also become very popular. Right now, there are about 200 networking sites on the net.
The success of social networking lies in the simplicity and convenience they provide for the users. These sites have given the world a whole new way to communicate and share their views, ideas and information. Millions of web surfers log on to these websites everyday and it has almost become a part of their life.
Social networking websites not only give us a window to express our views but they are also being used in the business world to expand the trade. Websites like LinkedIn.com help different professional to connect and interact with each other. LinkedIn.com has approximately 20 million users and the number is growing. These websites also give the entrepreneurs and traders a great place to meet and interact. Many sites are introducing the corporate model in their portals in order to give the companies a place to meet each other.
These websites also help businesses by making individuals interact with each other. You can meet and interact with the experts of different fields and share your ideas and views with them. You can also get their expert advice on various things. You can discuss ideas, projects, share pictures and documents with each other. If you are looking for a new job or an opportunity to get ahead in your career then these sites can make you meet some very important people and companies. This can help you in your career a lot.
Many people these days are earning from these websites also. Most of the networking sites do not charge any fee to sign up. This is because of the fierce competition in the field of social networking and also because it being a new phenomena, most people will not find it essential enough to pay for it. But these sites still earn millions of dollars each year by selling advertising space on the website. This also serves as another reasons to not to charge the members as the website owners want as much traffic on their websites as they can. Increased traffic will mean increased revenue from the advertisement sales.
Many sites have also other means to earn money; for example creating a marketplace on the website where they sell different products or merchandise related to the website. Many professional, goal-oriented website also earn money by selling information about different topics and social connections. One such website is the LinkedIn.com
Another way of earning money through these websites is by selling virtual products like music, skins, avatars etc. Some websites have also linked with some other gaming websites and sell games on their behalf to earn revenue.
But as always, something bad is always attached to something good. Social networking has brought the world closer. It has allowed us to interact with people we don’t even know. It has brought the world closer. And that is where its problem starts. Many frauds, criminals, pedophiles have used these sites as an accomplice in their crimes. There have been many instances when underage kids have fallen pray to the kidnappers and pedophiles through these sites. As we have never met the people we interact on these sites, it is very easy to get fooled by them. It is especially dangerous for small children.
Many a times, people get a little to friendly with their network friend and give away a lot of personal information about their life. This is also very dangerous as there have been instances of identity thefts on the basis of information given on the networking sites. No, we are not saying that all the social networking sites are bad and all the members are there to cheat you. All we are saying is that these websites have a potential danger. You must be aware of them.
But if we measure the benefits and disadvantages of social networking websites, then we will find them to be much more beneficial to the society. These website allow us to express our feelings. They help a community to get united in the face of a threat or problem. Whenever there is a problem in the world, these sites have performed a great role of informing the world about it.
These websites are for the people and by the people. Therefore, there is no scope of whitewashing over some burning issue. This helps the society in more than one way. It not only informs the citizens about the real situation in their country but also encourages them to unite and take action to solve the problems.
Many networking websites encourage their members to use it for the social good. They even help them in collecting charities and give out charity badges to the people who work for a cause. Hence, social network sites are here to stay and will flourish more in the coming years.
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