Today, we are going to analyze the secrets behind the success of social networking websites. But before that, let’s have a look at the formal definition of social network. Professor J. A. Barnes, who coined the term social network, defined it as:
A social network is an association of people drawn together by family, work or hobby.
So, a social networking website is basically a mean of creating and expanding that network, using the internet facility. The reason why a website is suitable for this purpose is obvious...because it can connect people all over the globe, beyond the limitations of geographical distance. Now, the next point is how to bring strangers know about each other’s bio data, interests, hobbies etc and make new friends? And this is the charm and in fact challenge for the website developer.
I am not going to pass a judgment that a particular social networking website is better than other. Rather, my point is to make you consider those secrets and try to use those for the promotion of your blog or website. Since, facebook is most popular social networking website; therefore, I’ll talk a lot about facebook.
Before the launch of facebook, MySpace was already well- established. Then how facebook was able to “create got to' sign up and visit…frequently?”
And how facebook has been able to make its users stay for so long, even when new websites with new ideas are emerging? It is not just the idea and programming as one may seem it obvious, but there’s much more behind it. As one commenter wrote about the case back in 2007,
“I have taken a look at ConnectU and their script…anybody could write such a script...What makes Facebook facebook, is not because of any code or script…it’s Faceboook’s strategy and [how they] positioned themselves.”
As I have mentioned earlier, at the time of its launch facebook had a competition with MySpace as it was six months old and was able to drive people to its network. Since, boredom alone cannot be a reason for a social network to fall, so, facebook had to come up with some strong grounds to convince people to migrate to facebook. And the very first issue they settled was privacy issue… by making users’ profile and data visible only to users’ friends. Secondly, they provided a much better user interface. Features like the newsfeed and picture tagging brought interaction to a new level. Then, facebook brings people together who already know each other e.g. find friends via their email addresses. It also introduced authentication of users. I.e. no fake profiles were allowed.
So, you can easily see that there was a complete plan for the implementation of idea. Well enough of facebook… let’s look what facebook competitors are doing. As informed in the MBT blog by Mr.Hassam Ahmed Awan, “iOS 5 Tripled Twitter Signups Rate Due To Ease of Use”. He further explains, twitter is integrated in iOS 5 and therefore people find it easier to sign up for twitter through easy steps. Integration in iOS 5 means that it is now the part of iOS 5 and not like a separate application that people were used of before.
So, I don’t know about your opinion but I am really impressed by the wise step i.e. integrate your blog or application with any other tech titan so to make it more accessible… no downloads require… no complexity. Remember, simplicity is what customers demand.
And now finally have a brief look at Google plus features which is a possible challenge for Facebook.
Search Google+, where, users can simply type key words into the search box, and relevant people and material will be shown in your stream. Google+ has undergone some mobile improvements e.g. users can now use SMS to post, receive notifications and respond to group messages in Google. Now you can use the +name feature to mention a person. Android users will also soon be able to +1 comment. It is also providing Google+ Messenger, which will support image sharing. Google lets you save a backup of your photos, profile information, contacts, circles, stream posts, and Buzz posts to your computer via Data liberation feature.
Google plus, is a young social network and there’s a lot of room for its improvement. Let’s wait and see if it could take up facebook. Wrapping up the discussion, I would like to quote
Your plan is only successful if it can be implemented, measured, and tracked.
And make your plans by knowing why and when your target market is most likely to pay attention .i.e. understand human psychology as well.
|Name||Description||Date launched||Registered Users||Monthly Unique visitors||Registration|
|1.||General||February 2004||640,000,000+||700,000,000||13 and older|
|2.||General. Micro-blogging, RSS, updates||July 15, 2006||175,000,000||200,000,000||Open|
|3.||Business and professional networking||May 2003||120,000,000||100,000,000||Open to people 18 and older|
|4.||MySpace||General||August 2003||100,000,000+||80,500,000||Open to ages 13 and older|
|5.||Ning||Users create their own social websites and social networks||60,000,000|
|7.||Google Plus+||General.||June 28, 2011||50,000,000||25,000,000||General, Open|
|8.||orkut||General. Owned by Google Inc. Popular in India and Brazil.||January 22, 2004||100,000,000||15,500,000||Open to people 18 and older, (Google login)|
|9.||hi5||General.||2003||11,500,000||Open to people 13 and older.|
|10.||myyearbook||General, Charity||20,000,000||7,450,000||Open to age 13 and up & grades 9 and up|
Guest post by Aimen Khan. Regular MBT Contributor
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