10 Paragraphs about Social Networks

  1. When we talk about social networks, we refer to a set of digital platforms and / or applications for smartphones and tablets whose purpose is to allow the user a massive social interaction with other users, through text, images, audio recordings and / or video, as well as other functions of telecommunications over the internet. And the companies that are dedicated to this, generally, are known as providers of social network services (from the English Social Network Services, or SNS).
  2. Social networks allow the user to communicate through different electronic devices connected to the Internet, such as computers, tablets and smartphones, and invite them to share with the audience numerous details about their life, their thoughts and their tastes, either with the mere In order to entertain yourself, or as a strategy to conduct business online, share information of all kinds or establish social relationships.
  3. A good way to think about social networks is to compare them with real, face-to-face spaces that fulfill the same function. Thus, many of them operate as an immense plaza in which we can hear other people’s conversations and even participate in them, while others aspire to be select clubs that are entered under certain rules and premises. In all cases, it is a public experience, that is, open to more or less anyone, which we access from the privacy of our home or our telephone.
  4. There are currently more than fifty social networking services available, but some of the most popular, judging by their number of active users, are: Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Tiktok, WeChat, Pinterest, Twitter, Snapchat, Linkedin and Tinder. The first two have 2,449 and 2,000 million active users, respectively.
  5. The history of social media dates back to 1995 and the creation of the website classmates.com, where users were offered the opportunity to get in touch with former classmates from college or university. The work of Randy Conrads, this portal served as inspiration for the emergence of another similar portal in 1997, called SixDegrees (“six degrees”), which sought to put its users in contact under the famous premise that all human beings are connected, in a one way or another, through six degrees of separation: an acquaintance of ours meets another who knows another, and so on to someone we normally could not know. This last portal still exists and was the first of a true boom of similar sites, among which were: Hi5 (2003), Friendster (2002), Facebook (2004), MySpace (2005), and so on.
  6. Social networks are an inseparable part of the contemporary world at the beginning of the 21st century. Through them not only do people communicate with their affections at a distance, but new relationships are established, commercial transactions are carried out and above all tons of information are shared daily. The latter is a double-edged sword, as much of that information is unfiltered and can be false, biased and toxic information, which has had a significant impact on the growth of fanatical and dangerous online communities.
  7. The potential of social networks is enormous, especially in matters such as education 2.0, anthropological and sociological research, online marketing and denunciation and social activism. Collectives from all over the world can establish contact thanks to these platforms and organize themselves in a better way, exchange information and launch advertising campaigns. This, however, also implies a great responsibility on the part of the company that provides the social media service.
  8. Just looking at the way we use them on a daily basis, that is, what kinds of inputs we interact with and how, social media companies can generate huge amounts of personal data. The destination of this information, however, is one of the most controversial issues on social networks, since many companies can buy this data from the social network without our knowing it or being able to prevent it, and with that information bombard us with advertising and of unsolicited offers.
  9. Most social networks operate thanks to a set of computer algorithms, that is, specialized information management programs. These algorithms are responsible for configuring a profile of each user of the social network based on their tastes, friendships and online interactions, and then provide that user with content that may be to their liking. The problem with these algorithms is that they tend to over-filter social media content, giving people the impression that the world is reduced to what they think, an effect known as the “echo chamber.” .
  10. There are two fundamental types of social networks: internal social networks (ISN), restricted to a group of people within some institution, organization or private circuit; and external social networks (ESN), open to all audiences and designed to survive through the sale of advertising space to different advertisers.


  • “Social network service” in Wikipedia.
  • “What is a social network” (video) in the TIC Ministry of Colombia.
  • “Social networks, a communicative revolution” in La Vanguardia (Spain).
  • “Social Network (computing)” in The Encyclopaedia Britannica.