Before the emergence of web 2.0 social networking sites were not so popular. From 2000 on wards, social networking sites have emerged and have changed our means of communication. Then and now: - Before our greater awareness of social networking sites and our means of communication were developed using instant messaging services such as MSN. MSN, allowed users with an email address to add friends using the ‘invite’ button; providing you have one’s email address.
When looking back at the instant messages, viral videos have developed through the emergence of webcam’s and cameras etc. Viral video sites such as Youtube allow users to communicate via blogs, and commenting systems. This creates authenticity. Vlogs can also be seen to self-market products. Youtube blurs the distinction between users and friends. Users make friends via subscription and communicate through videos.
Since the development of web 2.0 and youtube there has been in a shift in the hierarchy, consumers have gained a lot of control on what can be uploaded online and how they wish to communicate with audiences everywhere, this is one of the main reasons why YouTube has been successful it is all down to the audiences accessing the site. YouTubers are now known as celebrities themselves by constantly uploading videos and consumers communicating on what they like has resulted in channels by the one person etc…
Before YouTube was created other video sites weren't as popular this is because only the owners provided content whereas now everyone has the ability to put any content on, whatever they please. This again is another example of the shift.
Facebook is an essential part of many people’s life which was launched in 2004 by a Harvard system and was then available to the wider public in 2006. Facebook can be seen as a technological convergence as it incorporates videos, photos, groups, fan pages which you can ‘like’, links and many more other features. It creates authenticity through linkages of friend: you are able to be connected to anyone by the click of the ‘add friend’ button – friendship through social networking sites has become a click of a button and the word friend can now be seen as a metaphor as we are unable to distinguish on social network sites those whom we trust the most and someone who we wouldn’t recognise on the street. This allows people to be connected no matter where they are in the world as they are able share many aspects of their private life, online. This raises the question whether social networking sites are a means of personal communication or are the messages not intended to nobody in particular?
If the messages are not intended to anyone in particular, why are so many people around the world posting updates? Facebook can be seen as a means of surviellence through communication via the internet, now the friends who we know personally and those who we simply add by the click of a button are able to see our constant move: Varying from our days out, our feelings/ concerns through the ‘whats on your mind?’ as well as the ‘check ins’ we make are incorporated to a map which shows our friends where exactly we are and the places we have visited. The people via our friends list have a tracking system which is plugged into our mobiles/ ipads/ laptops etc. this tracking system is called ‘social networking sites’ But are they the only ones tracking us? When signing up to facebook the data base collects our information and is aware of our likings, hobbies, age and any other personal information. Now, people or employers are able to search employee’s through facebook – nobodys eyes are really on everybody.
Through the like and fan pages we click on; we are suggested items on the sidebars of the pages as well as adverts. Not only are people using social networking sites like facebook, but businesses are now using it as a means of ‘promotion’ or even others who use it as a purpose of ‘self marketing’ like youtube. People and businesses are now using this means of authetcity as other ways of communication and ways of making ‘profit’ which enables them to keep a closer look on their target market and customers.
There are questions which can be raised from this idea of social networking sites existence, do we really need mobile phones? Is the internet creating a ‘free labour market’ by converging all our means of communication into one though marketing stratergies by imbedding social network sites into ‘apps’ allowing us to be connected? Are we free workers of the internet? Or Could facebook be seen as an online journal allowing our friends and the public to see our exisitence in the new ‘networked’ world by self-mapping our lives, as the messages we post can be aimed at nobody in particular?
Although twitter was launched in 2006, it’s become more popular in the last couple of years. Since its launch it has become one of the ten most visited sites on the internet and is seen as another form of instant messaging. Its seen as an public journal where you can tweet about the smallest things going on in your life and its seen as normal. Its constantly changing and developing.
If you post something on twitter, it can be automatically posted onto your facebook page too. This shows that the social networking sites are all linked together. Also, you can post videos onto facebook via youtube and again this shows that everything is connected through a system of linkages. Another social network site that is incorporated into twitter is instagram where users share photos. However, only those with andriod phones or iphones can create accounts. This shows how advanced social networking sites are becoming.
However, twitter can be seen as a more open form of communication as people can follow you at any time during the day whether using a computer or their smartphones. And similarly to facebook, other peoples accounts are recommended for you to follow. Based on who you follow, social networking sites will collect this information and advertise other peoples accounts which they believe are similar to yours.
Twitter is also linked and promoted through television where people are often telling the audience to ‘follow them’ on twitter. Reality shows like THE X FACTOR broadcast tweets made by people in regards to their favourite contestants and what they think of the show. It allows people to have a say in popular television shows and again shows how social networking sites are connected to other platforms. This shows how everything is connected through each other.
Linking back to the idea that there is a blurred distinction between celebrities and ordinary people, similiarly to youtube, twitter also shows this distinction. The idea that people are able to follow their favourite celebrities and have an input in their daily lives by commenting on tweets or sharing information shows how social networking sites like twitter are becoming an important part of our daily lives. Everything is out in the open on twitter so people can have an input in what you say It also shows how popular one person is from the next from the amount of followers they have, the more followers you have the more popular you are in the eyes of twitter users. Some twitter users may even have more followers than some celebrities.
Social networking sites and their means of creating
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YouTube is made of the facility to post text comments onVloggs allowing users to feel a face-face communication.YouTube has been describes as post television.
“ On YouTube, there is no distinction betweencelebrities and normal people”When YouTube won the Peabody awards, theythanked the YouTube community for their success.
YouTube has constant accessibility.YouTube has also introduced the viral video craze.
• “Facebook’s news feed mixes personal ephemera, newsheadlines, party photo’s, political announcements, attention-seeking, communion and links. These are shared in somecases by people whom we know very well offline or in othercases by people whom we’ve barely or never met, or bypublic figures and media organisations… It’s a blend ofpersonal communication and public media that manifests ashift in the way we experience mediated communication.Facebook is a complex space, a site of multiple convergencesand modes of interaction, and one that offers key tounderstanding our converged media environment”. (Meikle,G. & Young, S. (2012))
• “Convergent media environment is an area in which people’sprivate lives can become public instantly. It is not alwaysclear, even to ourselves, how public we intend ourinteractions through social network media to be – and otherpeople might take that decision on our behalf, with what cansometimes be unexpected consequences”.• “A social network such as Facebook is a colossal database of thepersonal information of hundreds of millions users – theircontact details, their photos, videos, their likes and dislikes,their friends and their networks, their biographies andbehaviour, their allegiances, aspirations and secrets. But whoowns the data? Facebook does”.•surveillancesurveillance
• Maximisation of commercial use threateningthe principle of ‘network neutrality’. Havesites like Facebook become more of amarketing strategy driven by profit andways of self-mapping, connecting to userscreating a new authenticity for itself?Facebook marketingFacebook marketing
• You now can also web chat via Facebook with yourfriends and also send they voice messages from yourphone… could the emergence of social networkingsites have been converged to develop a new ‘mobile’means of communication? If we have these, viaconnection to the internet, are mobile phonesessential if you can web chat for free on the move?• Facebook – a public journal?
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• Twitter can be seen as a public journal• Allows people to ‘babble’ on about absolutelyanything.• Twitter allows users the ability to update theirprofile by using their mobile phone eitherby text messaging or by apps released forcertain smart phones and tablets
Social networking sites have become a majorpart of our daily lives
• Instant messages and the emergence of socialnetworking sites has all developed into a means ofauthenticity.• It has become an ‘ethos’ to which audiences have nowadapted to in their daily lives though various devicessuch as mobile apps, allowing it to become a meansof self-mapping.• These social network sites not only map our existenceto the public, but also allow the blurred distinctive‘friends’ to track our every move.