Social network

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A social network is a website that allows people with similar interests to set up personal profile pages, connect with one another, and share content.

People engaged in social networking may be doing so as a personal or professional reasons. The most popular social networks include Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, and Twitter.

Although these and other social networks are often used for both personally and professional reasons, social networks such as Yammer and Socialcast exist specifically for enterprise networking.

Networking computers to facilitate computer-mediated social interaction was suggested as early as 1978 The Network Nation 2 authors S. Roxanne Hiltz and Murray Turoff. The earliest iterations of social networking were found in Usenet, ARPANET, LISTSERV, and bulletin board services (BBS). Most early internet adopters are familiar with the first intentionally consumer services such as Prodigy, America Online, and CompuServe.

More accessible online communities hinting at what we're familiar with today included Geocities (acquired by Yahoo!) and Tripod.com. In the late 1990s, personal profiles became a prominent feature of social networking sites and started allowing users highlight "friends" and search for other users with similar interests.

Most consider that today's wave of social networking sites began to flourish with the emergence of Friendster in 2002. Friendster was followed by MySpace, and LinkedIn, and Bebo. Orkut emerged as a market leader by through adoption in Brazil and India. My 2005, Myspace was getting more page views than Google. Facebook, launched in 2004, became the largest social networking site in the world in early 2009.

The term social media was introduced by association; distinguishing a social networked form of media distinct from traditional media while greater than the network alone.