GENERATION FACEBOOK? THE HISTORY OF SOCIAL NETWORKS A presentation by Knut Linke, University of Latvia, at the International Conference:GLOBAL BUSINESS MANAGEMENT RESEARCH CONFERENCE 02.-04 DECEMBER, 2011 FULDA, GERMANY
Overview Computer Medieated Interaction Invention of the „Internet“ The first social networks The Facebook Local and niche Markets Current leaders Conclusion
The startof Computer Mediated Interaction• The first email were transferred in the year 1971 (Tomlinson, 2011).• On 16/02/1978 the first bulletin board was converted onto an electronic base (Gilbertson, 2010), the bulletin board service (BBS)• With its technology the BBS set the ideological and technical basement for the in 1979 introduced Usenet (Hauben, 1990).
The invention of the „Internet“• Invention of the World Wide Web by Tim- Berners Lee on August 6th, 1991 (Berners-Lee, 1991). • Introduction of webserver and browser for the displaying of information and the receiving of information through the usage from hyperlinks.• During 1994 and 1995 the first private Internet providers were established for the consumer market and set the basics for the usage of the Internet technology in our times (Borders, 2009).
Virtual Cities• One of those little and local providers, the “Beverly Hills Internet” company, introduced the GeoCities network in 1995. • GeoCities allowed the introduction of personal information through a webpage related to virtual cities (Altman, Bohnet, 1995). • Customer were able to create standard webpages and to integrate them into webrings which belonged to content areas or city areas.
SixDegrees.com – The First Social Network• The success from GeoCities was followed by sixdegress.com in 1997 which was already similar to current social networks like Facebook• SixDegress.com featured a virtual self-identity and presentation page as also the mentioned friend list feature and determined with this the basic standards for social network sites (Boyd, Ellison, 2007). • “Sixdegress.com had at its peak 1,000,000 users and around 100 employees, but was shut down in 2001”
Social Sharing & Networks• After SixDegress.com several other social networks like classmates.com were introduced to the Internet. Also the first social per to per network was introduced to the Internet users: • The Napster system allowed as first service the direct sharing of personal files through an online network. • During his success, Napster gets his peak to the end of 2001 with around 26.4 million customers using the exchange of content via the Napster network (Lipsman, 2011).• Additional social networks started like Friendster (becomes a leader in Asia) in 2002 and MySpace and Second Live in 2003.
TheFacebook.com / fb.com• Facebook was founded under the alias “The Facebook” in February 2004 (Facebook 2, 2011) and until September 2006 the system was only available to students in the states with a valid .edu e-mail address and at the beginning only for students from Harvard. • The network had over 750 million active users in the mid of July 2011 (Alexa 2, 2011) and those spend over 700 billion minutes per month on Facebook (Facebook 1, 2011). • In Germany over 20 million people are active in the Facebook network. From the members base, more males are active in the network as females (in the US it is the opposite). The main area in age is between 13 – 44 years, which represent 17.2 million users (Allfacebook, 2011)
TheFacebook.com / fb.com• Facebook Feature Race: • November 2007 - Facebook Pages / May 2008 - Facebook Connect / February 2009 - “Like it” Button / July 2009 - Facebook credits / August 2010 - Facebook / March 2011 - Facebook Questions / July 2011 - Facebook credits become the standard payment method in Facebook (Facebookbiz, 2011)• The usage of personal user data allows marketers to set up marketing campaigns, based on personal preferences and includes friends of a user on those campaigns.
Niche markets and local leaders• Niche market: Business networks• Market leader in Germany and central Europe: Xing• Available in 16 languages; provides the ability to exchange knowledge in over 45.000 groups and supports the community by providing the functions to organize offline events for and from the community.• As company Xing employs in June 2011 over 380 co- workers.• Over 10.8 million users in 2011, 759 thousand premium customers and over 476 million page impressions (Xing, 2011)
Niche markets and local leadersFocus on German users: The VZ-Network• Established in October 2005 as a service similar to the first version of Facebook .• After the success of a student network additional networks were was launched for non-students and for pupils and persons below eighteen.• The network offers for all three brands the same technology.• 17 million users in July 2011 (StudiVZ 1, 2011), active amount of 11.6 million unique users, (StudiVZ 2, 2011VZ)• In the first quarter from 2011 only 10.8 million users were active in the network, which is around 60% from the available user base (StudiVZ 3, 2011).
Microblogging via Twitter• Twitter was introduced in 2006 under the name Twttr as micro blogging service (Patel, 2011). • The approach is to provide short status updates (limitation on 140 characters ) to friends and interested people on a personal page.• The system had at the beginning of 2011 around 200 million users (Shiels, 2011). • An active user is understood as a user how as send out for messages during the time period of a month (Pfeiffer, 2011).• The amount of tweets in the German language in March 2011 was around 16.7 million from around 480.000 active users with the setting of German as their language.
The + in Google• Google’s social network was introduced in June 2011m reached during the beta period a 20 million users by the end of June (Musil, 2011) and launched official in August 2011. • Special feature: the circle approach. • Instead of Facebook the Google+ system allows the adding of friends only into separated lists, called circles.
The + in Google• In addition to the “Like it” function from Facebook, Google introduced the +1 function. • In Google+ the +1 function works like the Facebook function and aggregated recognition for the provided content. • On external webpages the +1 function adds the selected webpage or content on a personal bookmark page.• The search results from Google works with those +1 in addition to allow a social search approach. Personal highlight from friends or +1 from your circles are displayed in an aggregated way in the search results.
Conclusion - 1• This sector in business has changed rapidly from a niche market in the Internet business into a market with high competition.• With the provided information it can be displayed that social interaction via the Internet is not a development from our current time and that social networks and exchange had its success in the past.• The main difference, beside the ongoing increasment of technological features and the more perfect integration of the interpersonal communication, which is also the fast driver for technological improvements in the system, is the reached in the society as itself.
Conclusion - 2• The market leader Facebook seems also to be aware of the changing situation, by introducing new features since the beginning of August 2011 by including the abilities from Google+ in a lower level as a circle approach and focusing on the fast speed communication from Twitter.• The international market for social networks will be still heavily active during the next months and years and it can be possible that the market leader Facebook will be replaced or loss traffic to new competitors soon.
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