Social networking websites comparison chart for 2017
Social networking websites explained
Social networking websites bring together a large group of people by helping to unite/reunite friends and family or providing a platform for like minded people to interact and as the number of members grow, the site creators can then earn a profit by selling advertising space on the website.
Though most people explore these websites out of curiosity or just for fun, social networks have become so ingrained into our society that some employers actually check Facebook before hiring a new employee and, as headlines have shown, employees have been terminated for posting negative comments about their employers on their personal pages.
All social networking websites are different
Each social network can offer different and distinct features. For example, the search engine in Facebook allows you to find lost classmates, work colleagues or family members by entering a name or using your alma mater as a search term. If you would rather forget the friends you have or enjoy having a very large social circle, you can also find new friends that share your interests, by searching specific topics on websites such as MySpace. Not to mention the endless possibilities that these networks can offer to express your personality and sense of online style through a customized personal page.
Business as well as personal use
If you are a business, you shouldn’t discount these websites either. Social networking offers opportunities for businesses to directly engage their consumers and receive immediate feedback about products and services. For instance, musicians have been using social networks such as MySpace because they offer a platform to distribute new tracks directly to their audience while simultaneously increasing their fan base.
You can join groups or forums, exchange information, socialize with like minded people around the world or share your photos and blogs. Social networks also offer the opportunity to receive breaking news as it occurs, direct from the source. Networks such as Twitter have become an indispensable tool for news agencies and journalists to grab the latest headlines.
With so many niche networks available, the choice can become dizzying. So, our comparison chart features general interest social networking websites like Facebook and MySpace.
Choosing a social network might be as simple as becoming a member of the one that all your friends and family are using. However, if the decision is not predetermined, you may find that the number of networks available is somewhat overwhelming.
First and foremost, you need to consider what you want to get out of a social networking website, such as whether you are looking to find old friends or meet new ones, keep up to date with the latest breaking news or use it as a way to interact with your customers. This will help to bring your options down to a more manageable level.
You might also consider:
There is nothing more annoying than an over complicated website. The social network you choose should make it easy for you to express your opinion, values and beliefs. You should be able to easily upload, edit and delete photos.
Some social networking websites will also allow you to design or customize your profile page giving you the ability to fully express your digital personality.
How you intend to interact can play a major part in choosing the best social network for you. For example, if you are frequently on the go and own a smart phone, you might consider a service like Twitter which allows you to make SMS updates from your mobile phone. Most of the popular social networks, such as Facebook, also give members the ability to choose whether their conversations will be public or private and provide some type of chat feature.
Security & privacy
Since social networks are often the target of hackers, you should choose a social networking website that has a good security and safety record.
The website should allow you to choose your own privacy settings as well as choose who can view your profile. The ability to block people and report abusive members are also important security features that can help to make your online experience much more enjoyable.
Search functionality is an important factor in choosing a social network. Most sites allow you to find other members on their network either by name, school, email address or even geographic location. The most popular social networks will even import your contact list from either an instant messaging account or email to make connecting with friends faster and easier.
Help & support
A social networking website should provide FAQ’s, tips and hints relating to security/privacy as well as instructions on how to deal with abusive members.
Q. What is social networking?
A. Social Networking Sites are websites that allow people to create personal pages, join groups of other members who share similar interests as well as communicate with friends and family. Some popular social networks include MySpace, Facebook and Twitter.
Q. Isn't social networking for teenagers and college students?
A. Social networking sites are far from being an exclusive domain for teens and college students. In fact, many businesses and organizations use social networks to communicate important information to the general public and interact with their consumer base. Many networks focus on a specific topic of interest such as gardening, political commentary or current events.
Q. What are the risks of using of social networks?
A. Though social networks can be very entertaining for children and teens, they can also provide an opportunity for unscrupulous users to exploit children. Pedophiles often use IM to lure their victims into giving out personal information.
It is important to reinforce the rules of using the internet with your kids, such as never give out their full name, address or school they attend to anyone online. Those who know them will already have this information and there is no way for them to know if someone is who they may claim to be.
Adjusting their privacy settings so that only friends and family can contact them is an effective method to reduce the likelihood of being approached by a pedophile. Above all, they should be encouraged to report any inappropriate conversations immediately to their parents so appropriate action can be taken.
However, even adults can fall victim to giving too much information. There have been incidents where people have discussed their vacation plans online only to find their house had been broken into while they were away.
Q. I have heard that you will soon have to pay to use facebook, is this true?
A. There are lots of rumors circulating that Facebook will soon move to a monthly payment model which has resulted in Facebook members forming groups to oppose this move. However despite Facebook admitting that they’re not quite sure how to monetize the website, they have no current plans to charge for the service.
Q. What exactly is the Bebo panic button?
A. In November 2009, Bebo introduced an onscreen panic button that allows children to report bullying as well as offensive or obscene content they might encounter on the network without delay. The button is linked to the Government's Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre so specialist officers can investigate the matter.
Q. What is a network?
A. A network is any group created on a social networking site that is based on a common characteristic. Some examples of networks might include a region, school or workplace. Networks are often exclusive to their members. So becoming a member of a network usually gives you access to information that is not publically available.
Q. What is an application?
A. Applications are software enhancements that users can add to their personal pages. These can include ‘Top Friends’, ‘Super Poke’ or ‘Where I’ve been’.
Q. What is an forum?
A. An internet forum (aka online message board) is the modern equivalent to a bulletin board. It is a place where people can meet to have discussions.
Groups are formed for discussions and provide an area where people can share their thoughts and comments about a specific topic. They have recently become a popular method for companies, clubs and organizations to engage with stakeholders such as consumers, clients, employees and even the general public.
Your ‘wall’ is a space on your personal page where your contacts can make time stamped statements that are visible to everyone who can see your profile page. It can become somewhat of a nuisance if you use Facebook for business contacts and your best friend posts comments about your last night out. So, it might be wise to exclude work colleagues from your personal information to avoid these embarrassing moments.
A Facebook ‘poke’ is designed to get the attention of another user, much like nudges are used in instant messaging. There have been many theories on why this feature was created or when it is appropriate to use. However, Facebook’s own FAQ explains the feature by saying: "When we created the poke, we thought it would be cool to have a feature without any specific purpose. People interpret the poke in many different ways, and we encourage you to come up with your own meanings."
Tweets are messages sent through the Twitter network that are no more than 140 characters long.
These are short messages posted on social networking sites that express how you are feeling or what’s on your mind at the moment. These posts are sent to everyone in your network.