A social networking service is an online platform that is used by many people to build social networks or socialrelations with other people who share similar personal or career interests, activities, backgrounds or real-life connections.
Social media are computer-mediated technologies that facilitate the creation and sharing of information, ideas, career interests and other forms of expression via virtual communities and networks
- social networking services are Internet-based applications
- user-generated content (UGC) is the lifeblood of SNS organisations.
- users create service-specific profiles for the site or app that are designed and maintained by the SNS organization
- social networking services facilitate the development of online social networks by connecting a user’s profile with those of other individuals or groups.
Most social-network services are web-based and provide means for users to interact over the Internet, such as by e-mail, by instant messaging and through online forums.
Social networking sites are varied. They can incorporate a range of new information and communication tools, operating on desktops and on laptops, on mobile devices such as tablet computers and smartphones. They may feature digital photo/video/sharing and “web logging” diary entries online (blogging).
Online community services are sometimes consideredsocial-network services, though in a broader sense, a social-network service usually provides an individual-centered service whereas online community services are group-centered. Social networking sites allow users to share ideas, digital photos and videos, posts, and to inform others about online or real-world activities and events with people in their network. While in-person social networking – such as gathering in a village market to talk about events – has existed since the earliest development of towns, the Web enables people to connect with others who live in different locations, ranging from across a city to across the world.
Depending on the social mediaplatform, members may be able to contact any other member. In other cases, members can contact anyone they have a connection to, and subsequently anyone that contact has a connection to, and so on. LinkedIn, a career-oriented social-networking service, generally requires that a member personally know another member in real life before they contact them online. Some services require members to have a preexisting connection to contact other members.
The main types of social networking services contain category places (such as former school-year or classmates), means to connect with friends (usually with self-description pages), and a recommendation system linked to trust. One can categorize social-network services into three types:.
- socializing social network services used primarily for socializing with existing friends (e.g., Facebook)
- networking social network services used primarily for non-social interpersonal communication (e.g., LinkedIn, a career- and employment-oriented site)
- social navigation social network services used primarily for helping users to find specific information or resources (e.g., Goodreads for books)
There have been attempts to standardize these services to avoid the need to duplicate entries of friends and interests (see the FOAF standard). A study reveals that India recorded world’s largest growth in terms of social media users in 2013.A 2013 survey found that 73% of U.S. adults use social-networking sites.
The advent of social networking platforms may also be impacting the way(s) in which learners engage with technology in general. For a number of years, Prensky’s (2001) dichotomy between Digital Natives and Digital Immigrants has been considered a relatively accurate representation of the ease with which people of a certain age range—in particular those born before and after 1980—use technology.
Prensky’s theory has been largely disproved, however, and not least on account of the burgeoning popularity of social networking sites and other metaphors such as White and Le Cornu’s “Visitors” and “Residents” (2011) are greater currency.
The use of online social networks by school libraries is also increasingly prevalent and they are being used to communicate with potential library users, as well as extending the services provided by individual school libraries. Social networks and their educational uses are of interest to many researchers.
According to Livingstone and Brake (2010), “Social networking sites, like much else on the Internet, represent a moving target for researchers and policy makers.”Pew Research Center project, called Pew Internet, did a USA-wide survey in 2009 and in 2010 February published that 47% of American adults use a social networking website.Same survey found that 73% of online teenagers use SNS, which is an increase from 65% in 2008, 55% in 2006.
Recent studies have shown that social network services provide opportunities within professional education, curriculum education, and learning. However, there are constraints in this area. Researches, especially in Africa, have disclosed that the use of social networks among students have been known to negatively affect their academic life. This is buttressed by the fact that their use constitutes distractions, as well as that the students tend to invest a good deal of time in the use of such technologies.
Albayrak and Yildirim (2015) examined the educational use of social networking sites. They investigated students’ involvement in Facebook as a Course Management System (CMS) and the findings of their study support that Facebook as a CMS has the potential to increase student involvement in discussions and out-of-class communication among instructors and students