Social Networking Service

Social Networking Service (SNS): What it Means and All You Need to Know

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The SNS acronym means Social Networking Service and it’s an online service that allows people to form connections around the world. A social networking service platform will enable you to gather on it and share your common interests with other users in its simplest form. This often leads to the formation of new relationships online. Users have to create profiles with personal information, and after that, they connect with other people who share the same interest.

Before now, communication and building relationships had several factors limiting it. But the rise of internet service has seen the removal of such barriers. Today, you can quickly build a social network where people worldwide can connect with meager cost to the users. Smartphones also mean you can showcase your identity, share an idea, and express your thoughts and others through Social Networking Services.

After making connections, you grow your relationships through instant messaging, content sharing, emailing, and other forms of engagement. Social networking services can also be called social networking sites or social media platforms. This piece takes a cursory look at SNS, Social Networking Service, and all it entails.

What Is a Social Networking Service (SNS)?

A social networking service (SNS) is an online tool for creating and building relationships with other people. Social networking lets you create a profile with your information and photos and develop connections with different profiles. You can then use these connections to grow relationships in several dimensions. An alternative name for Social networking services is “social networking site” or “social media.”

Origin of SNS

Social networking services started back in 1997 when internet connections were made available to a more significant number of people worldwide. Myspace, SixDegrees, and Friendster were the pioneers of the Social Networking Service. They made available to users a wide range of different interests and activities. Although these platforms are not known today, they paved the way for their predecessors, and their legacy lives on.

Today, social networking services continue to connect the world community from the comfort of their homes. There is a list of successful specialized social networking services like LinkedIn, Reddit, Snapchat, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok. Social Networking Services profiles are trendy around the world. Meta (Facebook), for example, boasts of over 2.92 billion users across the globe.

Related article: How to grow followers on Instagram (2021 Update).

The social networking service model profits from online advertising through targeted ads that uses an individual’s personal information, location, and search habits. Third-party ubiquitous mobile technologies like tablets and smartphones have contributed to the growth of social networking services.


Various rules apply when establishing connections on social networking sites; they allow users to view the contacts of a genuine connection. Suggestions on further links may be provided based on a user’s established network.

Social networking services can take different forms, but there are essential features and characteristics like using the internet. Some similar factors include:

  • Generated account content like videos, pictures, captions, and posts that make other platform users aware of their interests and activities.
  • The ability to connect different individuals across the globe with diverse backgrounds. At the same time, some networking sites will recommend that users know each other in real life. 
  • Social networking sites/platforms are free. Charging users can be counterproductive since such platforms depend on the breadth of membership. But there is a possibility that charging a fee from users will be possible if the network grows large.
  • Connections are made through standard histories, such as work colleagues, school attendance, or those who share a common interest.
  • They help create a relationship between or among individuals who share a business network, political ideology, religious beliefs, and profession.
  • Social networking platforms can help users find information and knowledge on products, services, and resources that are useful to them.

Uses of Social Networking Services

In the early days of SNS, individuals could build vast connections without fear of communication barriers. However, the Social Networking Services has seen a drastic upgrade in its usage. Technological improvements now mean you can leverage the powers of SNS in newer dimensions regardless of your class or need. Below is a list of uses that SNS now makes possible:

  • You can use SNS to connect to your loved ones online, allowing them to be in their lives. Maintaining a connection is now easier with friends, relatives, colleagues, and family members.
  • Social Networking Services also lets you develop new connections without prior knowledge or meeting the user at the other end.
  • Mega companies, businesses, and brands now use Social media sites to source information about their potential employees and workers. They can also create special groups to share knowledge-rich or impactful content specific to their organization or in general.
  • Similarly, businesses can use SNS platforms to search for potential customers. Social Media is also a rich source of data gathering about the interest of consumers concerning a business. This means companies now analyze the content on SNS to expand their reach and customer base.
  • Investigative agencies also rely on data on SNS to find, detect and investigate criminal activities.
  • Educators can also use Social Networking Services to share knowledgeable content with their students.

For example, social networking sites like LinkedIn let you establish professional connections, and sites like Meta (Facebook) are between professional and private. Several other social networking platforms have a particular user base, like political groups, cultural groups or geographical locations, or financial market traders.

Types of Social Networking Services

Social networking services differ in terms of functionality and usage, and here are the significant classes we have:

Profile-based SNS

These SNS platforms allow you to create profiles and interact with other users. Notable sites running in this mode include Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Image sharing and messaging sites                             

Visual contents are the newest means of driving traffic for brands, businesses, and individuals. This has seen a rise in image-sharing platforms. Instagram, Pinterest, and Snapchat are significant examples of this form of SNS.

Video sharing sites

SNS platforms implementing this user mode allow you to share video content with your audience and the general public. Video content is one of the latest forms of content sharing that receives the most engagements. It’s optimal for introducing a product or teaching a topic. And with smartphones, you can easily create content for these platforms. YouTube and Vimeo are typical examples of platforms that operate in this format. 

Social Blogging

Social blogging sites such as Medium and Quora allow you to engage with your connections by harnessing the power of traditional blogging. You can leverage SEO to improve the performance of your content.

Social Networking vs. Social Media

The significant difference between Social networking and Social Media is that social Media is used majorly for communications, and social networking is for building a network of people. “Social media” is considered a noun by some people, print media or digital media. “Social networking” is viewed as a verb.

For instance, the social networking arm of Meta (Facebook) would be its groups, where individuals add each other in a deliberate group network. The social media arm would be a user’s wall or page where communications are public and can be accessed by all users without a particular network in mind.

LinkedIn, for example, works more like a hybrid than just a social networking platform. It is considered the primary social networking platform for professionals and organizations. On the LinkedIn platform, connections work when an individual requests to join your network. You can decide to either deny or verify such links.

The social media arm of LinkedIn is the information available on a user’s profile, like educational history, a resume, or employment history. Information on the profile is freely available to other platform users, no matter who they are, so creating a profile doesn’t consist of social networking.

Cons of SNS

The impact of social networking services has been one of both positivity and negativity, especially on human psychology. And below are some risks concerns with the use of SNS platforms:     

  • While social networking services can develop relationships and personal bonds, they can at the same time lead to loneliness and depression.
  • The risk of data or personality theft is immerse, especially if you fail to carefully consider permissions and privacy settings.
  • There is the possibility of leakage and misuse of data such as personal information, like tax and personal identification information, in many ways.
  • Cyberbullying is also rampant on social networking services, with negative comments and online trolling taking the forefront. This can lead to anxiety issues among users.
  • SNS can also constitute a hindrance to the freedom of speech, with many governments trying hard to sensor its use.
  • False or fake news reporting on SNS platforms has seen a rise in violence in all forms ranging from political, cultural and religious. A classic example is the Cambridge Analytica misuse in March 2018, where the political firm stole information from over 50 million profiles of United States users for targeted politicized content.
  • Physical safety concerns also persist with social networking services as strangers can track or trace your movements or see contents you don’t want them to see. 


Social Networking platforms are unique tools with several potential if you leverage them to the fullest. The SNS holds several benefits and simultaneously has immerse risks in its usage. In summary, a social networking service is an online tool for connections, creating relationships with other service users worldwide. This relationship spirals across several backgrounds, interests, and cultures. SNS platforms use a power algorithm to match you with individuals or pages with similar profiles.

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