The 10 types of Social Networks and their characteristics
Social networks (RRSS) are part of our lives for a little more than a decade. This has changed our way of relating to others, and our way of sharing knowledge and information.
Although the term social networks is used to refer to platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc; in fact, this term is often misinterpreted (we explain it later).
In this article will delve into the different types of social networks and we will see what its characteristics are.
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What are social networks
We are all familiar with the term social networks; however, we often misuse this name. Before continuing, it is better to clarify some concepts that can cause confusion.
As explained in the article "Personal Branding for Psychologists on the Internet and Social Networks," many believe that social media is synonymous with social networks. But it is necessary to understand the difference between both terms.
Social media is a social medium, a platform, application or means of online communication which many individuals use to create an online interaction in order to share ideas, news and particular interests. In social media it is possible to share articles, images, videos, audios, and chat conversations or videoconferences can be held. These include: Facebook, Google+, YouTube, WordPress, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.
Social networks are often confused with social media, but the first are not platforms, but the interaction action performed by users . Therefore, both terms have a relationship but they are not the same. Social networks are online communities.
In reality, social networks do not only refer to online communities, but also those that are not. In this sense, social networks are for example, the friends that a person has.
However, in this article, and to avoid confusion, we will refer to social networks as social media and as online interaction communities .
Brief history of social networks
Although today social networks are part of the lives of all of us and we would hardly imagine our day to day lives without them, their historical origins are recent, dating back to 1994, when the technological advance allowed some websites to offer the ability to add comments in forums, instant messages and friends lists .
Now, the first social network that not only allowed to create personal profiles, but also lists of friends and navigate through these, was Sixdegrees.com. During the period from 1997 to 2001, technological advances also allowed new interaction tools, which were used by Livejournal or LunarStorm.
Ryze.com is considered the first social network focused on business , which also emerged in this era. Later appeared Friendster, a portal to link. In 2003 Myspace was born, and months later, in 2004, Mark Zuckerberg created the most important and well-known social network of all: Facebook.
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Types of social networks
Social networks allow the creation of communities of individuals with common interests, but there are different types, each with its own characteristics. How are social networks classified? The RRSS can be categorized in different ways .
1. Horizontal social networks
They are social networks that were not created for any type of specific user, but rather they interact with all kinds of individuals, which, yes, can create their own communities . For example, anyone can participate in Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc., and benefit from its use and the available utilities.
2. Vertical social networks
Are those that do address a specific audience. They are known as specialized social networks.
3. Professional social networks
They are a type of vertical social network, in which the participants are professionals who interact with work objectives . For example, companies or workers from different sectors. The best known is LinkedIn.
4. Social leisure networks
The theme of this type of vertical social network revolves around different tamas: sports, music, videogames ... Wipley or Dogster are some examples. The bankrupt Bananity also wanted to make a hole in this type of networks.
5. Mixed vertical social networks
They combine both professional and leisure themes, therefore, they are less formal, for example, than LinkedIn. Unience is one of the most outstanding .
6University social networks
They are intended for the university public. In them, students can chat, get to know each other and, at the same time, download notes . Patatabrava is one of the best known.
7. Social news
Some social media allow people to post various news or links to external articles and then allow users to "vote" on these articles. The items that get the most votes are the most prominent. The Internet community decides what news is seen by more people . The most popular are Digg and Reddit. For Spanish-speaking users, there are several websites with the same philosophy. Perhaps the most relevant is Menéame.
Blogs are social media in which opinions, stories, articles and links to other websites are recorded from a personal site. WordPress and Blogger are the best known. Blogs allow the creation of interaction environments, in which individuals with common interests come into contact. In the field of Psychology, the best known is psicologymente.net, which receives more than 8 million monthly visits. Anyway, there is no clear line between a blogging portal and a web dedicated to publish on a specific topic.
These social networks are characterized by the publication of very short entries or updates that allow for the transfer of interaction and for individuals to interact. Users can subscribe to the content of other users, send direct messages and respond publicly . Also create and share hashtags to get the content on topics related to many individuals. Twitter and Tumblr are the best known.
10. Shared content
Social networks that allow loading and share various content, such as images or video . Most services have additional social functions such as profiles, comments, etc. The most popular are YouTube and Flickr.