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The Influence of Social Networking Website

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What is Social Networking Website?

The definition of social networking is “the relationships that exist between network of people” (Walter & Ribiere, 2004). Today, when we talk about social networking, we think of social networking websites like Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter, which are the top three popular social networking sites in the United States (Alexa.com, 2010). These sites are defined as web-based platforms that allow individuals to build their own profiles and reflect social relations. The users of these sites are able to “articulate a list of other users with whom they share a connection, and view and traverse their list of connections and those made by others within the system” (Boyd &Ellison, 2008).

Within the system, the users are able to present themselves, articulate their social networks, and establish or maintain connections with others; moreover, these social networking websites can be oriented toward different fields like work-related, romantic relationship related, interest sharing related, or student community (Ellison, Steinfield & Lampe, 2008). Mostly, users participate in these sites for interaction with their friends or meet new people. With these sites, they provide various features such as profiles, comments, private messaging, photo-sharing, and video-sharing capabilities; moreover, with the improving technology, now users are capable of using mobile phones to achieve online interactions.

How Popular are Social Networking Websites?

According to an article by NielsenWire, global social networking website traffic has grown dramatically over the last three years. The article also indicates that these site users “spent more than five and half hours on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter in December 2009, an 82% increase from the same time last year when users were spending just over three hours on social networking...

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