Never has there been, in the history of mankind, so great an opportunity for people to be connected and interact, as its obtainable today. The proliferation of the Internet has made communication between people to be greatly easy and effective, without the barrier or limitation of space and even time. And today, at the forefront of the phenomena changes we are experiencing, is social networking.
Social networking is the general name given to the trend and the activities of websites that are created with the purpose of making communications between their users possible. These websites are also being known as the new media, for they allow users to speak, watch, hear and interact with people from all over the world. The make sharing of experiences, interests and activities, possible.
Presently, it will be difficult to put a definitive figure on the actual count number of members of these social communities, for a simple reason that thousands of them are springing up on a daily basis, each making its own cut in the big pie of web population. Mind you, hundreds of thousands of users are also joining the move on a daily basis. People now find it difficult to be separated from their 'circles of cyber-neighbors and family' In fact, we cannot just imagine how life would be without these communities, or better still, how we have managed to live all these years without them. This all goes to show us how intricately ingrained into the very fabric of our lives, these social networking has become.
Tracing the history of Social Networks, we find classmates.com as one of the first entrants into the game. The site was the first to introduce the creative concept of user profiles and short messages. The messages could be sent among those who have become friends on the site, thereby laying the foundation and preparing ground for later developments of what has now come to be known as Instant Messaging. The first site to introduce all the features of a complete social network was sixdegrees.com that was launched in 1997.
Today, leading the pack is Facebook.com, with the mindboggling estimation of over 900 million users. Interestingly enough, the site which was launched in February 2004 began in the dormitory of an undergraduate. The site is opened to people from all over the world, who are above the age of 13, and it offers many innovative features of a modern day social networking site. Closely following behind in terms of usage and worldwide membership is a micro-blogging tool called Twitter, started in July 2006, with a population of over 300 million registered users.
The wave of this trend has even hit China. Today, Sina Weibo that launched in August 2009, now has a web population of close to 300 million users, effectively making it the most popular and the largest website in the Iron Curtain Land. Not to be left behind, even Google joined the party when it pulled out all the stops to launch Google Plus in the year 2011, after several failed attempts. There are many countless popular networks like Facebook, Mezee Chat rooms, Pinterest, Flickr, etc.
The burning fire of Social of Networking is gaining momentum each day, without any sign receding. It has come to stay, and it can only get bigger as each day goes by. You might also want to read how to develop my own social network.