Type: Analysis
Pages: 4 | Words: 1084
Reading Time: 5 Minutes

The internet has brought about new and different types of information sharing. In the recent past, online social networks have had spontaneous growth and have gained a lot of popularity among internet users, and from statistics they are among the most popular sites on the web. For example, Facebook alone has more than 500 million active users 50% of whom log on to Facebook on any given day spending a whopping 700 billion minutes per month on Facebook. In this paper we will examine the list of items that do qualify as social networking and how they relate to e-commerce. We will also examine the most common social networking tools like Facebook, Twitter, my space and YouTube.

Social networking is defined as the interaction between groups of people with a common interest by using an online internet network groups to communicate between themselves by simply creating an online page or profile. The social network usually contains a user’s profile, his/her social links and some other additional services depending on the site. Some of these social network sites include Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, LinkedIn among others. Social networks are mainly used for communicating and staying in touch with friends and families, looking long-lost friends, business colleagues for networking and collaboration, and singles who want to meet and match with other singles.

Social networking tools

There are several networking sites that are on the web today. Unlike websites that are organized around the content, most social networks are organized around their users. Here, new users join the social site then publish their profile and any content they may wish to publish on the site and then create a link to the users they associate with. These sites allow users to share ideas, events, activities and interests with their network of friends. There are various types of social networking services and they include; those which contain category places like the former school- year or that of classmates and those that connect friends but most of them do combine both the two.

Social networks and eCommerce

These online social networking sites like Facebook and tweeter did begin collecting various kinds of private and public data across the internet for the purpose of targeted marketing. This data is used to introduce platforms for these companies to combine e-commerce and social sites. Here, advertisers and markets are targeted. Information about the online users is gathered which has been useful to tracking and model consumer behavior. These businesses are now looking to social sites like Facebook, MySpace, and tweeter to help them sell more products and services. In the case of MySpace, it announced a technology that uses profile data to create a market segment for advertisers who want to promote their products. Hence users are encouraged to spend more time on these sites and the data in turn used to improve market strategies.

The social networking tools


Facebook is a social networking site founded in 2004 that is operated and owned by Facebook, Inc. it is the biggest social site on the internet with more than 500 million of active users per month. Facebook has social features like the wall- where users can send or receive messages, photos- where the users can upload and share their photos, pokes, status- where users can update whatever they want to share to all their network friends. Every user has his/her own profile page which is for posting their status updates and can be used displaying personal information. Facebook also offers profile pages for groups, which can be a company, a charitable organization or an online club that that has a specific topic with their own members.

What Facebook can do?

Facebook has a lot of uses for the users. It lets the user’s friends and family to know what one is up to from the status update or SMS which are displayed on their walls. Facebook can also be used to communicate private messages to friends from an inbuilt email system as well as chat services. Facebook can also be used to share photos and videos by uploading them and they are then displayed in a tab on the profile page. Facebook also offers a way of announcing and tracking important dates and events like parties, gatherings and invitations. Facebook can be used by the older generation to reconnect or search lost friends. Can be as well used to spy on what kids are up to by tracking their status updates.


Twitter is defined as a social networking site where users post their micro-blogs called tweets and also read other user’s tweets. Thus it keeps family, friends and co-workers to keep in touch through short text messages. Anybody can easily use tweeter and from statistics in the US politicians, business people, celebrities and virtually anyone who knows how to use the internet. Tweeter started in 2006 and four years later it boasts of more than 10 million active users.

Through tweeter updates, a user’s friends on the site can follow what s/he is doing or what s/he is up to through status updates. A tweeter is good for ambient intimacy between those you love, breaking news and sharing experiences like in January 2009 when a US-bound plane landed in Hudson River, a nearby observer took a photo and twittered the message of what had just happened.   


MySpace is a social networking site launched in 2003 with profile contents being moods, blurbs, blogs, interests section and detail sections. It has a profile that is a place of sharing it has more than 40 million active users per month. MySpace has profiles for musicians in their music section but differs from the other normal sections in that allows other artists to upload their entire MP3 songs but only if the one uploading has rights to the songs. MySpace has also a customized profile where they can enter their HTML into the interests, about me or I’d like to meet areas.

The site has a developed bulletins board where any broadcast messages can be accessed by all the user’s friends, a groups feature which allows a group of users to a common page and message board. The concept of the ‘friends’ site is the main aim of MySpace though. One builds a network list of friends who are accessible from the profile page. By clicking on a friend’s image, one is able to view their profile and his/her list of friends. A MySpace account is opened by choosing a name and a password that are used to log in and then you are in control of your own profile page.

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