Many people are confused about the meaning of the phrase ‘social networking.’ One reason for this is that the term was used differently years ago.
Social networking used to require that people gather together in person, so that they could meet face-to-face and interact. Now, the term has a broader usage. Today’s social networking means simply to sort and group people into specific groups.
Thanks to the Internet, we can now network across vast distances that would previously have prevented this. We don’t have to be together in person to be in an interacting group. Social networking sites are extremely popular online, and are in the top five activities that Internet users engage in. People use Internet social networking sites for purposes as varied as finding a romantic partner to finding a job.
Online networking is popular with and beneficial for professionals regardless of field. Professionals tend to stick with more established sites such as LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook for the purposes of social networking.
Networking via the Internet has been shown to have practical benefit for businesses. According to research, such networking can be very helpful with ordering materials, marketing goods and services, and hiring new employees.
LinkedIn is one of the most well-known sites geared to professionals who wish to network online. LinkedIn has been operating since 2003, and boasts more than 50 million users worldwide.
Facebook is another extremely popular networking site that is gaining popularity among older professionals. The number of American users over the age of 35 has doubled in recent months. Overall, Facebook has more than 150 active users, half of whom are on the site daily. Users can be found in more than 170 countries and territories, and post to Facebook in more than 35 languages.
The smallest of these three popular networking sites is Twitter. Twitter is used by 4.1 million users monthly, and is still growing. The typical Twitter user, compared with users of other networking sites, is more likely to be highly educated and technologically adept. Twitter also draws more women than do the other social networking sites.