The virtual common-room

DQW Bureau
New Update


Social networking sites have gained huge popularity among Indian audiences.

Particularly applications that have a social and business angle to them.

Incidentally, after Brazil and the US, India has the highest number of

registered users of Orkut. Some other major Indian players in the social

networking segment include Linkedin, Bigadda, Orkut, Fropper, and Ibibo.

The concept of social networking is loosely based on the theory of 'six

degrees of separation'. Social networking sites provide utility, community,

entertainment, recognition, and enterprise.

How they Work

Social networks are built on user-generated content including text, photos,

videos, etc. As the amount of data storage can be huge; latency issues with rich

content need to be addressed right from the beginning. It is essential that

networks are built with scalability and performance. User interface design,

privacy features, and the ability to build an open extensible platform are

essential. One of the challenges for social networking sites as opposed to any

other website is that these have to maintain relationships among people, not

just their information. Therefore, each new member brings not just himself but a

constantly evolving set of new relationships, thereby adding to data load



Today's Trends

Increasing Internet penetration coupled with a growing awareness of what the

Internet can do has driven the huge popularity for social networking. Today, a

much higher percentage of people are going online, have easy access to

computers, understand that the Internet indeed adds value, and has reached a

mature level of usage. Social networks have also increasingly become

specialized, targeting specific areas such as marriage, dating, travel, music,

gaming, etc.

Users of social networks generally are in the age group of 18-35. However,

there is no dearth of members from older age groups logging onto social

networking sites. Though, one needs to keep in mind that unlike other networks

social networks lose value once they go beyond a certain size. As says Paul

Saffo, a Silicon Valley forecaster in The Economist: “The value of a social

network is defined not only by who's on it, but by who's excluded.”. This means

that even though people do log onto social networks for building communities,

most do not intend to receive requests from unknown users.

Stuti Das