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Such a broad definition would suggest that the telegraph and telephone were social networking services – not the Internet technologies scholars are intending to describe.
ARPANET, LISTSERV, and bulletin board services (BBS).
For the social science theoretical concept of relationships between people, see Social network.
For a list of services, see List of social networking websites.
Through e-mail and instant messaging, online communities are created where a gift economy and reciprocal altruism are encouraged through cooperation.
Information is suited to a gift economy, as information is a nonrival good and can be gifted at practically no cost.
Depending on the social media platform, members may be able to contact any other member.
In other cases, members can contact anyone they have a connection to, and subsequently anyone that contact has a connection to, and so on.
Some communities – such as – took a different approach by simply having people link to each other via email addresses. In the late 1990s, user profiles became a central feature of social networking sites, allowing users to compile lists of "friends" and search for other users with similar interests.
A study reveals that India recorded world's largest growth in terms of social media users in 2013.
Furthermore, the idea that these services are defined by their ability to bring people together provides too broad a definition.
Linked In, a career-oriented social-networking service, generally requires that a member personally know another member in real life before they contact them online.
Some services require members to have a preexisting connection to contact other members.
In the times of breaking news, Twitter users are more likely to stay invested in the story.