What is a Social Networking Site (SNS)?


What does social networking site (SNS) mean?

A social networking site is an online platform that allows users to create a public profile and interact with other users. Social networking sites typically allow a new user to provide a list of people they share a connection with, and then allow people on the list to confirm or decline the connection. Once the connections are established, the new user can search the connection networks to establish further connections.

A social networking site is also called a social networking site or a social website.

Techopedia Explains Social Networking Site (SNS)

Social networking sites have different rules for establishing connections, but they often allow users to view connections of a confirmed connection. They can even suggest other connections based on a person’s established network.

Some social networking websites, like LinkedIn, are used to build professional relationships, while sites like Facebook straddle the line between private and professional. There are also many networks built for a specific user base, such as cultural or political groups in a given area, or even traders in financial markets.

Social networking websites are easy to confuse with social media sites. A social networking site is any site that has a public or semi-public profile page, including dating sites, fan sites, etc. A social media site has profiles and connections, combined with tools to easily share online content of all types.

It is also useful to think about examples of social media and social networks to distinguish between the two.

Arguably in the first decade of the 21st century, Facebook as a platform has become the most used social media site as well as the most used social networking site.

Social media vs social networks

The difference between the two things is that social media is mainly used for communications while social media is used to build that network of people. Some people also consider “social media” to be a noun, just like digital media or print media, and “social media” to be a verb.

So the social networking part of Facebook would be its groups, where people deliberately add themselves into a bundled network. The social media component would be someone’s page or wall where communications are obviously public and accessible to all users without having a specific network in mind.

Again, the primary purpose of a social networking site is to allow an inherently limited group of individuals to connect in a special way – not just a platform for someone to create a profile and do publicity for something in the world. In light of this, LinkedIn operates much more like a hybrid than just a social networking site, although it is still widely regarded as the leading social networking site for professionals.

On LinkedIn, network connections work as described above: the individual can request that another user be added to their network, and then that other person can verify or decline the connection.

Networking also occurs when someone sends or receives a LinkedIn email message, or adds someone to their list of contacts or network endorsers. The social media component on LinkedIn is all public information about the individual’s profile, such as resume, education history, and employment history. This information is freely available to any user, so creating it is not really social networking behavior.

Theoretically, new social networking sites could focus much more on secure access to content, and less on the free distribution of data on social networks. However, broader social media and social networking sites like Facebook and LinkedIn work well on the dual model, where they do both of these things simultaneously.


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