Social network sites have nearly become an integral part of the regular human life. This sites have even attracted attention of the academic and industry researchers intrigued by their affordances and reach. This computer mediated communication has also enabled business professionals to serve their purpose of business networking.
The web based platform-otherwise called social network sites facilitates the exchange of thoughts, views thereby forming communities of like- minded individuals. Through social network sites individuals can create profiles which may be either private or public. Connecting individuals within a bounded system makes the world really look small. Business professionals can also make their presence count globally with some popular business networking sites. The sites allow individuals to browse through each other’s profiles and can even act as a communal force for shaping public opinion.
The number of business networking sites as well as social networking sites have increased enormously over the last few years .But potential threats to privacy of such social networking sites are yet to be secured completely. The information often found in profiles such as hometown ,date of birth or some other personal information have been used illegally without users’ consent.
This sites are proliferating and growing in popularity worldwide. With the associated feature of business networking, the business professionals can use the social networking sites as a platform for their business promotion. The global exposure that the networking sides provide, keeps it ahead of any other media. The interactive and easy maintenance features have earned global acceptance of the social network sites.
In the beginning the social networking sites only focused in building niche communities. But now they have expanded their boundaries enabling individuals to fulfill their specific needs whether it is for dating, academics , business networking for business professional or even for simply friend-making. Studies reveal that social networking sites primarily support pre-existing relations, but this is not where the purpose of this sites end, often users engage in searching for people with whom they have an offline connection thereby bridging online and offline social networks.
This sites are even worthy for industry researchers. Researchers have been able to gather important information regarding the behavior of the individuals associated in any community. There have been instances of individuals faking their identities. It has been found that individuals are concerned in keeping or renewing their past contacts and are only centered on any particular group rather than making new friends. Profile and linkage information from any social networking site can be gathered through the use of automated collection techniques, which enables network analysis researchers to explore friending patterns, usage and other important factors.