Social networks were gaining their popularity in an exponential rate in the past few years. If you take a look at Alexa web ranking you can see so many social networks at the top including Facebook, Twitter and MySpace. The major reason behind this success was people like to express themselves and they won’t get enough chances with their busy life style. And some people feel more comfortable to express their feeling with a online friend rather than real friend. Apart from that there were so many creative technological innovation done by social networks in order to make it easier to express their member’s feelings. However at this point Social networks has became a addictive web applications and you can easily find so many people who are spending large part of their life connection to them, playing games with their online friends, chatting without knowing what is happening in the real world.
Current Social Networks
Facebook is at the top in when it comes to the popularity of social networks. It’s providing all the common features of any social network including personal profile, multimedia sharing etc. In addition to that Facebook API provides facility to develop 3rd party application which can share facebook member details. This is the one of critical success factor of the facebook. In addition to that it provides highly performance tuned streamlined interfaces with a chatting module. In past few years facebook was doing so many developments and so many new applications were introduced. It leads facebook to highly sophisticate at the same time highly complex social network. However traffic ranking was continuously increasing for facebook.
Compared to other popular social networks Twitter is new. But it gained exponential popularity due to its highly simple functionality. The major feature is members can write a message which contain maximum 140 characters and other member who follow can read it in their main page. In addition to that your message will be added to twitter main time line if your profile is not protected and the entire world can see it. Due to this simple functionality so many user were attracted to twitter and it was showing nearly 300% member base growth in past few years. And it won’t collect your personal data like facebook and other social networks. So there are lesser chances of privacy issues to occur. These days most of the online marketers using Twitter to promote their products and services to large crowd.
Ning is a special kind of social network concept. It allows its members to create their own social network on Ning platform. And they have made it so user friendly, so any non-technical use and create their own social network within few minutes. They also providing major functionality for the social networks and users can easily configure them by drag and drop development interface. At this moment Ning supports large amount of social networks on their platform. According to Alexa ranking it’s gaining its popularity in a decent rate along with the number of social networks on it.
There are so many other social networks including MySpace, Hi5, Flicker which is specially designed to share images, Orkut which is prowled by Google and LinkedIn.
The most common feature in any social network is Friends network. It allows you to create your own profile and add your personal data in to that. After that you ne send request to other member, the one who confirm it will become your friends. Your selected private data will be shared with all the members and other may shared with your friends. It provides features to communicate with members through text messages and various other ways. Multimedia sharing is one of the popular features. There you can upload image or video and your friends can
This was a pretty old feature in social network. It was there in almost all the social networks including hi5 and Facebook with different names. But Twitter took only that feature and creates a new social network with lead to huge success and popularity. It allows you to write a message with limited length and share it with your friends.
So many social networks provide API which can be used to develop 3rd party application which can be interact with it. Facebook is showing major success in there with Facebook API. In the Facebook there is millions of application developed and so many users are addicted to them. In Addition to that Twitter is also providing highly sophisticated API to control Twitter using 3rd party application. However this has its negative effects, why so many people develop robots to spam and do other harmful things in the social networks using their APIs.
Future Of Social Networks
Privacy And Security
These days’ main concern in all the social networks is Privacy and security. In past few years there was so many incidents reported about the breach of privacy in social networks and sometimes they led to huge disasters as well. If you take a look at those incidents most of the time it about “Not using” provided security and privacy features. Due to that all the social networks providing highly simplified privacy and security controls. More creatively some social networks don’t collect member’s private details as far as they can. In future social networks will provide more sophisticated privacy features and users will be able to control each and every parameter as they want. And the privacy groups will be well defined like they have in Facebook now as Friends, Friends of Friends and Public. In the other hand when you increase privacy it will be difficult to share things freely. In order to solve such a problems social networks will provide clearly defined public data and more comprehensive searching to connect with each other. There may be search which shows a relationship between you and another member who is not your friend in a tree structure like graphical representation, but still you can see his personal details.
Twitter became success it selects only one feature which is micro blogging. At the same time Flicker is a huge success it select only image sharing. This is the future trend in social networking. People need them to be simple and highly user friendly rather than full of complex features. And most of the social networks provide mobile interface where users can control it over the phone or its browser. This further increases the interaction and simplicity of the social networks. In near future there may be dedicated mobile devices which can be used with Social networks.
More Personal Details
With the improvement of the security and simplicity of social networks people will share more and more probate information with them. Even now Google Latitude provides a facility to update your location via mobile phones GPS unit. And social networks already have your email, its password and large part of your personality details. In future if they manage to get your DNA structure online? There won’t be any privacy and it can simply re create you not just with physical features but with personality features as well.
There will be continuous and increasing impact on human civilization by online social networks. They can be positive or possibly negative according to current observation.