How Social Network Sites Develop in China
Chen Xinxu 1030100012
Li Ran 1030100058
Xu Haonan 1030100121
Xu Ziyun 1030100122
Yu Zongyuan 1030100137
Social network site is a website where individuals can set up an online profile describing his/her interests, and add links to other profiles. (Boyd, 2008). Generally, users are able to post personal information, including photographs, videos, and blog entries. They provide platforms to build social networks or social relations among people. Web-based social networking services connect people who share interests and activities across political, economic, and geographic borders. Through e-mail and instant messaging, online communities are created.
Facebook and other social networking tools are increasingly useful communication tools. Scholars in many fields have begun to investigate the impact of social-networking sites, investigating how such sites may play into issues of identity, privacy, social capital, youth culture, and education (Frosch, D. 2007).
Social networks are providing a different way for individuals to communicate digitally. These communities of hypertexts allow for the sharing of information and ideas, an old concept placed in a digital environment.
Today, networks are increasingly developed in China, and the population of netizens is expanding. Since their introduction, social network sites have attracted millions of users, many of whom have integrated these sites into their daily practices. There are hundreds of SNSs supporting a wide range of interests and practices. Most sites support the maintenance of preexisting social networks, but others help strangers connect based on shared interests, political views, or activities, like Sina microblog. Some sites cater to diverse audiences, like RenRen linking students from different cities, while others attract people based on common language or shared racial, sexual, religious, or nationality based identities. Sites also incorporate new information and communication tools.
The social network sites industry has many enterprises. Some companies have cooperation relationship, such as Wechat & Wedeo. Some are competitors, like Yichat vs. Wechat. Besides, some are derived from others, like microblog from Sinablog.
The purpose of this introduction is to provide a context about social network sites industry. We will analyze this industry market structure include the number and size distribution of firms, entry conditions, and the extent of differentiation. After defining the market structure of SNS, we will discuss industry strategies, considering the way to run business. Besides, social network sites industry has the limitation and development space, for example, increasing number of messages and social relationships embedded in SNS increases the amount of social information demanding a reaction from SNS users. Consequently SNS users perceive they are giving too much social support to other SNS friends. This dark side of SNS usage is called ‘social overload’. In our paper, we will consider these problems and try to find out the solutions through analyzing the further development trend. Besides the paper also talk about how to develop further in digital times, how to make profit in the competitive situation, and how to cater to diverse interests under the increasing population of netizens situation.
Figure 1 Timeline of the launch dates of major SNSs
After joining a social network site, users are prompted to identify others in the system with whom they have a relationship. The label for these relationships differs depending on the site—popular terms include ‘‘Friends,’’ ‘‘Contacts,’’ and ‘‘Fans.’’ Most SNSs require bi-directional confirmation for Friendship, but some do not. These one-directional ties are sometimes labeled as ‘‘Fans’’ or ‘‘Followers,’’ but many sites call these Friends as well. The term ‘‘Friends’’ can be