Social Media and Networking Sites

Social Media and Networking Sites
Social Media and Networking Sites

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Social Media and Networking Sites


Social media has been at the forefront of the digital revolution. Social media has created a borderless world and revolutionized communication by helping individuals to share information, photos, videos and other content instantly over the internet.

Background Information

Advancement in technology has led to increased access to the internet and internet-enabled devices such as smartphones and computers. This can be described as the cornerstone of social media, which relies solely on the internet and internet-enabled devices.

Since the advent of social media site, Six Degrees in 1997, numerous social media sites including Facebook, Flickr, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat, MySpace, Periscope and Meerkat have been developed.

These networks have allowed users to share photos, videos, personal updates and other content online from anywhere across the globe. In this regard, social media has contributed immensely in enhancing seamless communication across the world.

Thesis Statement

Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube as the main social networks have each designed their networks with unique characteristics aimed at enhancing social connections while providing the best user experience.


Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube continue to grow immeasurably, as individuals seek convenient avenues to communicate and share information. While most social media networks serve closely related purposes, each has its own unique characteristics. These are discussed below:


  1. Twitter’s main purpose is to help individuals connect with what is of interest to them, whether it is friends, celebrities, experts or news agencies.
  2. The post length on Twitter is only 140 characters. This means that the networking site is more concerned about creating interest than providing detailed information.
  3. A user’s connections on tweeter are known as tweeps, while statements posted by users are known as tweets.
  4. To connect with another user and see their updates, one must ‘follow’ them by clicking the follow button.
  5. Hashtag (#) is a prominent and widely used feature on Twitter. The # is used in creating key words used to refer to a specific subject, such that others can follow and contribute to the conversation through the hash tag. Clicking the word with the hashtag, the user can read all posts related to the subject.



  1. Facebook encourages people to reconnect and find new connections online. Through the use of email, images, instant messaging and video sharing, Facebook allows users to look for family members or long lost friends through their profile. 
  2. A Facebook post may consist of a maximum of 63,206 characters, which gives users freedom to express themselves in both short updates and detailed updates to keep their connections informed.
  3. An individual’s connections on Facebook are known as ‘friends’ and can share information, photos and videos on each other’s ‘wall’, which is the individual profile page where account owners can share thoughts, pictures, videos and other content.
  4. To connect with a friend, one is required to make a friend request on the page. The potential friend then receives a notification and decides whether to accept or decline the request

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  1. LinkedIn users link and follow each other through connections.
  2. Users provide personal information including education qualifications, professional qualifications, work experience, current employment details and contact details to allow interested persons to ‘connect’ with them.
  3. LinkedIn allows users to connect to others through people already known to them. Using the ‘Get introduced’ function, users can send messages to current contacts to introduce them to a potential contact.
  4. LinkedIn helps users to obtain information that is highly relevant to them by suggesting groups with relevant information. The ‘Groups You May Like’ makes an analysis of attributes that are similar between members through algorithms and then suggests the groups to members depending on their interests.

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  1. YouTube allows video sharing through users’ YouTube accounts, also known as ‘channels’. These may range from short videos to videos that are 11 hours long and a maximum of 128GB.
  2. Advertisement revenue is a prominent feature of YouTube, with advertisements being strategically placed in the most popular videos. By creating interesting or popular video content, users can earn money based on the number of advertisements linked to their content.
  3. YouTube has a ‘Trending’ page, which allows users to find popular and current content as quickly as possible
  4. The popularity of videos is determined by the number of views.
  5. Users often rely on the views and video shares to determine how well their videos were received.

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  • This discussion is a clear indication of how social media has enhanced interaction between individuals and also enhanced the flow of information.
  • It is apparent that social media has indeed been instrumental in enabling social and professional connections in the contemporary society.
  • A discussion of the most popular social media networks being Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube reveals that each social media network is created with a specific objective, and that the various characteristics possessed by these media have enhanced their use and relevance to users.
  • As technology continues to advance however, it is imperative for social media sites to diversify and allow users to share additional content in order to garner additional users.
  • As an example, it is notable that technology advancement and availability of high speed internet has enabled live video streaming over social networks. This is a feature that the social media networks discussed above can utilize to enhance connections and attract users.
  • Social media networks should not be rigid in terms of the content that should be shared by users and they should therefore strive to provide variety and innovation in sharing content.

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