The History of Social Network Sites


It is a widely accepted fact that the history of social network sites are a worthy research topic. Recently, we’ve become more attentive to social network sites, such as Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, etc. Boyd and Ellison claim that SixDegree.com is the first identifiable social network site, which allows users to make friends using a profile they’ve created. Boyd and Ellison consequently believe that social network sites experienced a great wave of popularity from 1997 to 2003 onward, and to September 2005. There are various functions and categories of social network sites. Users can make business transactions, online dating, connect with Christian churches, compare their movie favorites and much more. From my perspective, social network sites provide an avenue which surpasses the barrier of different geographic or national background. Individuals can be informed of the latest news, share their traveling pictures and play online connected games.


In my own experience, I used ‘QQ’ as my preferred social network as I was commencing Uni four years ago. I can vaguely remember that every night before I went to sleep, I would usually sign in ‘QQ’ to see the news. When there was interesting, sad or even heart-touching stories, I would share it in my chat group. During the spring festival, my roommate, living in a different province, would send New Year messages to me. Sometimes I’d find an animated lantern, couplet, or even fireworks in the message. It is really appealing to receive such interactive messages. At that time, you could categorize all my different contacts into six group—friends, relatives, teachers, strangers, part-time job colleagues and my roommates. I remember one time I used ‘QQ’ chat and directed an email inviting one of my foreign teachers to the Summer Palace for the weekend. We had a fabulous day in the Summer Palace. A few weeks ago, we messaged one another, even though she had gone back to Canada. She said that she was considering moving from Montreal to Vancouver and recently learnt to speak in Chinese ‘I want to buy a cool beer’.


With the fast development of the social network sites, nowadays, I use other sites—RenRen (having a similar interface to Facebook). Having read the below non academic text website link, it can be seen that apart from RenRen and QQ, there are still a variety of popular social networks in China. For instance, Diandian, Douban, Wechat and Jiepang are all popular social networks. However, RenRen has an estimated 150 million members and is one of the most significant social networking sites for Chinese college students.  

images[7] image source)


 From my own experience, I think that social networks, such as RenRen, have greater popularity and more interactive interface compared to QQ. I still recall the last year, on my birthday, I received many virtual gifts from online friends. For example, a fluffy bear, candles, happy birthday cakes, a star in a jar and glimmering bracelet. Although all these gifts were not real, I still felt comforted and delighted for the day.

In the meantime, we share pictures in this program and write comments at the bottom of them. One of my previous high school teachers, Betty, now studies in France. She put some pictures which to show the results of her first time to make onion soup. After that, I commented on her picture “It looks really tasty, good chef!” Betty replied “When you come to France, I will make it for you”.


More importantly, through RenRen, you can find your primary school or secondary school classmates. Xi Wang is my deskmate in secondary school, however, we have not contacted each other for a long time. Thanks for RenRen, we found each other and I know that she is currently working for a medicine company. She posts a series of fantastic pictures from her and her boyfriend’s travels in Hong Kong. When I see it, I commented at the bottom of her picture “Don`t shop too much in Hong Kong ^_^.” And then she added a smiling face for me.


Beginning from the first social networking site, launched in 1997, up until now, people can communicate with each other easily, which lessens the distance between us. As for the increasing popularity of various social networking sites, we can pick our favorite and most useful networking sites from a wider selection. Using these up-to-date programs we can broaden our horizons and make more friends.

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The above picture is my RenRen social website interface, when you access the site you can see how to post pictures, share your thoughts, write a diary entry or comment on a film at the top of the website. At the right hand corner, you could select a friend’s name to find them RenRen related information.






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