What Is

What are social networks? – Types, History, Functions and More

Social networks are digital platforms forme by populations of people with common interests, activities or relationships (e.g. friendship, family, work). Social networks allow contact between people and act as a means of communication and exchange of information.

People don’t have to know each other before connecting through a social network, but they can, and that’s one of the largest benefits of virtual communities.

Types of social networks

Horizontal or generic social networks

These do not have a specific theme but are aimed at all types of users. These networks are occupation as a means of communication, information or entertainment. They are very numerous and popular, for example, on Facebook or Twitter.

Vertical Social Networks

These  connect people with certain common interests, such as music, hobbies, and sports. For example, Flickr is a social network whose theme is photography. These networks are vertical professional networks, such as LinkedIn, which involve people who share the work environment or wish to expand their professional boundaries.

In general, joining a social network is very simple since it is enough to fill in a questionnaire with basic personal information and thus obtain a username and password that the user will use to connect to the private network. As long as the user meets the supplies to register for this network (for example, he is of legal age), he can do so quickly and easily.

The Story Behind Facebook and Twitter

Some of the greatest popular social networks are Facebook and Twitter.


It was founded in 2004 by a group of students led by Mark Zuckerberg to connect students from Harvard University (USA). Facebook began to gain popularity in the learner community, later expanding its audience. Soon anyone with an email account could join. The conversion of the network into several languages ​​has enabled its global expansion. Today, this social network has more than 2 billion users.


Founded in 2006, it is a social network that allows you to post short texts (140 characters), commonly called “tweets”, appearing on the user’s home page who posts them. Anyone subscribed to the network can “follow” other users and see the content of their publications.

What are Social Networks For?

Communicate and Share

Social networks act as platforms for exchanging information or opinions. Dependent on the type of network, the functionalities and the kind of communiqué established among users vary. In many of them, workers can share images, videos, documents, opinions and information.

Maintain or establish contact. Networks allow anyone with internet access to create a user on the web and connect with other people worldwide who are also members of that social network.

They allow you to communicate with friends and family, make new friends, find a partner and also, start a job or professional relationship.


The great flow of information circulating on social networks allows users to keep updated with important events or interesting topics. Most networks will enable you to create a user and customize the type of information displayed on the web.

Have fun. Social networks form communities of users with similar interests on certain topics. These networks act as a great source of entertainment and also, relaxation.

Characteristics of Social Networks

  • They consist of a virtual community: These are huge communities that span the entire planet.
  • They can be use on laptops, capsules or mobile devices.
  • This are free to access, although many offer greater functionality for monthly or annual payments.
  • They provide real-time information.
  • They allow each user to create a side view within the network.

Benefits of Social Networks

Social networks have a series of assets or advantages that have allowed them to establish themselves as the undisputed protagonists of the Internet.

They are  Immediate

Social networks work in real-time. The info, videos, images and opinions shared on the networks are generally made public and can be viewed instantly by any network user in almost any part of the world. On some platforms like Twitter, social, cultural, political or economic, regional or global events are immediately known to all users.

They are huge

Social networks have damaged cultural and also, age barricades by reaching a large part of the population.

Shorten Distances

Social networks allow you to communicate with your friends, family, and network users regardless of geographical distance.

They Act as a Learning Channel

Entertainment and information. Social networks serve to visualize certain information. Depending on what content interests the user, the user can be informed, entertained or informed.

They enable the exchange of information

Networks allow instant and also, easy sharing of files: documents, music, photos, videos.

They offer Employment Openings

Some networks make it possible to publish the professional profile of users. Some, like LinkedIn, were created with the specific purpose of building communities of professionals. Companies develop profiles from which job offers are offer to which interested users can apply.


A social network is a social association compose of a set of social actors, groups of dyadic connections, and other social interactions between actors.

Also Read: What is Brain Drain? – How does it Occurs

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