This article is about the type of service. For the social science theoretical concept of relationships between people, see Social network. For a list of services, see List of social networking websites.
A social networking service (also called SNS) is a platform to build social networks or social relations among people who share interests, activities, backgrounds or real-life connections. A social network service consists of a representation of each user (often a profile), his or her social links, and a variety of additional services. Social networks are web-based services that allow individuals to create a public profile, to create a list of users with whom to share connections, and view and cross the connections within the system. Most social network services are web-based and provide means for users to interact over the Internet, such as e-mail and instant messaging. Social network sites are varied and they incorporate new information and communication tools such as mobile connectivity, photo/video/sharing and blogging. Online community services are sometimes considered as a social network service, though in a broader sense, social network service usually means an individual-centered service whereas online community services are group-centered. Social networking sites allow users to share ideas, pictures, posts, activities, events, interests with people in their network. The main types of social networking services are those that 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. Popular methods now combine many of these, with American-based services such as Facebook, Google+, YouTube, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, Vine, Tumblr, and Twitter widely used worldwide; Nexopia in Canada; Badoo, Bebo, Vkontakte (Russia), Delphi, Draugiem.lv (mostly in Latvia), Hyves (mostly in The Netherlands), iWiW (mostly in Hungary), Nasza-Klasa, Soup (mostly in Poland), Glocals in Switzerland, Skyrock, The Sphere, StudiVZ (mostly in Germany), Tagged, Tuenti (mostly in Spain), Myspace, Xanga and XING in parts of Europe; Hi5 and Orkut in South America and Central America; Mxit in Africa; Cyworld, Mixi, Orkut, Renren, Friendster, Sina Weibo and Wretch in Asia and the Pacific Islands.History The potential for computer networking to facilitate newly improved forms of computer-mediated social interaction was suggested early on. Efforts to support social networks via computer-mediated communication were made in many early online services, including Usenet, ARPANET, LISTSERV, and bulletin board services (BBS). Many prototypical features of social networking sites were also present in online services such as America Online, Prodigy, CompuServe, ChatNet, and The WELL. Early social networking on the World Wide Web began in the form of generalized online communities such as Theglobe.com (1995), Geocities (1994) and Tripod.com (1995). Many of these early communities focused on bringing people together to interact with each other through chat rooms, and encouraged users to share personal information and ideas via personal webpages by providing easy-to-use publishing tools and free or inexpensive webspace. Some communities - such as Classmates.com - took a different approach by simply having people link to each other via email addresses. PlanetAll started in 1996. In the late 1990s, user profiles became a central feature of social networking sites, allowing users to compile lists of "friends" and search for other users with similar interests. New social networking methods were developed by the end of the 1990s, and many sites began to develop more advanced features for users to find and manage friends. This newer generation of social networking sites began to flourish with the emergence of SixDegrees.com in 1997, followed by Makeoutclub in 2000, Hub Culture and Friendster in 2002, and soon became part of the Internet mainstream. Friendster was followed by MySpace and LinkedIn a year later, and eventually Bebo. Friendster became very popular in the Pacific Island. Orkut became the first social networking in Brazil and than also grow fast in India (Madhavan, 2007). Attesting to the rapid increase in social networking sites' popularity, by 2005, it was reported that MySpace was getting more page views than Google. Facebook, launched in 2004, became the largest social networking site in the world in early 2009. Facebook was first introduced (in 2004) as a Harvard social networking site, expanding to other universities and eventually, anyone.