Social Networking is a child of the internet. Internet which was invented so that all the major scientists that worked for CERN from different parts of Europe could stay connected and stay updated with their colleagues’ work. The internet was invented so that communication could become faster and more accessible. This need gave birth to an invention that is increasingly getting integrated with our daily lives- Computer networks. A network is a structure made up of interconnected hardware components which are used to transmit data; usually the components of the network are capable of communicating with the other components.

A network comprises of a server and several nodes. In case of a normal computer network the nodes would be computers or other devices connected to the server but in the case of social networking, the nodes are created virtually on the storage of the server and consist of the details entered by the user. The network topology of social network is made of virtual nodes. A social network is an interface which facilitates this communication by providing a better user interface to the users.

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All the links between the nodes on the network are established by the nodes themselves by authenticating the other as a known person, other links are created when the nodes share common personal interests or opinions. The server here acts as the interface and therefore facilitates fast quick communication. Most of these servers enable the nodes to form groups with the others that share either the same interest or recognized by the node as a friend. All other forms of social networking use the same basic structure of social networks and change the interface or use client software as their interface.

Due to its increasing popularity on computers, innovation and research in various fields related to social networking was rising and lead to invention of Instant Messaging and Video Conferencing; two very important reasons for the popularity of social networking. The most popular forms of open social networking interfaces are 1. Online websites (Facebook, Orkut etc. ) 2. Phone messaging applications. (Blackberry Messenger, Whatsapp etc. ) 3. Mass Multiplayer Online Game (World of Warcraft, Ragnarok etc. ) In my essay, I am going to look at the impact and applications of these services on business practices, employees and employers.

Why businesses and people today need social networking? Market research: - Many companies use social networking forms to get statistical information from their customers. This way they can work on providing the customers with better service and suit themselves and their products to the customers’ requirement. Since it is cheaper than hiring survey companies to get market research done, it has become increasingly popular. Through social networks businesses can gain information about market share amongst people from various demographics, geographical locations and conditions.

Commonplace: - Businesses and employees use these sites so the small businesses can come together and solve their problems. These websites are used as a forum where people can come together and discuss. Businesses also use these websites to find other business selling the good they need or to find buyers for their own goods and services. These services can help achieve the ultimate business aim of growth and increase the companies’ customer base. Certain websites also help companies find partners, investors and help entrepreneurs find all the useful resources they might find useful in their new business.

These websites also help connect unemployed professionals with people working at their possible employers to find out more about the working conditions. This is also helpful in operating trade unions. Videoconferencing and Instant Messaging:-Since videoconferencing is cheaper than travel businesses use it to communicate. This way a formal meeting environment attained while still keeping the costs low. Many companies that depend mainly on teamwork and rely on real-time data for their business operations use instant messaging so that businesses can operate at the most efficient rate possible.

Through video conferencing small entrepreneurs throughout the world can collaborate and share ideas and promote a more friendly business environment. Marketing: - As the number of people using social networks throughout the world is huge businesses can easily promote their products online. As companies can target customers of specific demographics through these networks by knowing their interests and ideas, it has become a useful and cost effective way of advertising.