Part of the Internet applications glossary:

Social networking is the practice of expanding the number of one’s business and/or social
contacts by making connections through individuals.

While social networking has gone on almost as long as societies themselves have existed, the
unparalleled potential of the Web to facilitate such connections is only now being fully recognized
and exploited, through Web-based groups established for that purpose.

Based on the six
degrees of separation
concept (the idea that any two people on the planet could make contact
through a chain of no more than five intermediaries), social networking establishes interconnected
online communities (sometimes known as social graphs) that help people
make contacts that would be good for them to know, but that they would be unlikely to have met

Depending on the social media
platform, members may be able to contact any other member. In other cases, members can contact
anyone they have a connection to, and subsequently anyone that contact has a connection to, and so
on. Some services require members to have a preexisting connection to contact other

Social media sites include Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+.

This was last updated in September 2016
Posted by: Margaret Rouse

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