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What Are Social Networks, What Are They For And What Types Of Platforms Exist?



What Are Social Networks, What Are They For And What Types Of Platforms Exist

You still don’t know what social networks are or what they are for? Although you have likely heard about them, since today almost everyone communicates or sends content through these channels, you may be one of the few who is still not very clear about the definition and operation of those platforms.

We live in a connected world, where personal interactions are not limited by distance. One of the leading causes that this is so is the emergence of these digital communication tools. Therefore, if you are thinking of having a presence in one, today, I will tell you what precisely the RRSS are. We start!

What are social networks?

Social networks are sites or platforms where information, data, and content of different formats are exchanged with a group of people (and organizations) in such a way that they interact and create among them a virtual community that pursues a relative interest in common.

Some of them are of general interest, and others are more niche or particular lifestyles (much more specific interests).

What are the most used social networks? Among the large number of platforms currently in existence, some of them are of general interest, and others are more niche or particular lifestyles (much more specific interests).

The most general categorization segments them by:

  • Vertical ⇒ Some examples are Flickr, Meetic, or Yelp.
  • Horizontal ⇒ As is the case of Facebook and Twitter.

There are many of them widely used throughout the world and, on the other hand, others that have not yet grown internationally, but have their specific areas of influence.

Companies can take advantage of the punctual market of action and the particularities of each of them, publishing its contents according to the best time to publish in each one, which usually is not the same, depending on the type of users found in each of them.

For what are the social network useful for?

Now that you know exactly what social networks are, I imagine that you will roughly intuit their utilities, both from personal use and leisure; As from the most professional.

Again, to solve all these concerns, here are some of the uses you can give:

1. Meet New People

Most commonly, this is the answer you receive most because if you have read the above definition, you can realize that they are the perfect place to meet new people.

And in addition to all kinds: with similar tastes, with different ideologies, with new ways of thinking, etc.

Many people enter these platforms not only to interact virtually with those they already know but to meet new people and expand their horizons as far as friendships are concerned.

Some even use them, why not …, also to find love and meet that particular person with whom to share their life.

2. Networking

Another excellent use they have is to make global networking of professional type. It is possible to find people from your same niche and who are in virtually any part of the world, which will open many jobs and professional growth doors.

There are some specific and dedicated channels for this since the need to work our Brand on digital platforms has now become an imperative rather than an option.

3. They Can Help You Find A Job

This is instead a derivative of the previous point, and it is that in them, it is possible to find a job adapted to your preferences and talents, obviously if you search correctly.

And this is thanks to the number of people, professionals, and even companies that make life within these «Social Networks.» Who knows, maybe your dream job is waiting there somewhere in your favorite network.

4. Create Content

As you would in a blog, you can share and comment on any content or news that you find interesting, although with the rules a bit different from that of a blog.

One point that is important to note is that, depending on the platform in question, your content must have specific characteristics and format, since each of them has its features that make them relatively unique.

Creating content on them has its benefits, and similar to how you do with your website, you can generate income with it through paid advertising.

5. Promote Events, Services, and Products

Again, similar to how you do it with a blog, it is also possible to disseminate the services or products of your business or that you offer as Freelance, depending on your case.

In fact, on occasions where you already have a relatively large community of followers, few alternatives are better than one of these platforms to promote a Marketing event or congress or another theme that you organize.

6. Get Social Web Traffic

One of the channels through which you can get traffic to the Web or Blog of your business is this. And, in addition to working SEO Positioning to get organic visits and “on autopilot” from Google, there are more ways, such as this.

And, derived from the previous point, you can also disseminate the contents of your Blog to give signals to the search engine that, for example, your last article is being useful for users, since after sharing it, they are accessing it from some social platform.

What types of social networks exist?
Now that, in addition to knowing what social networks are, you have discovered some of their utilities, let’s talk a little about the types that exist, because yes, there are marked differences between all those that live.

The first thing to say is that there are two fundamental types:

  • Horizontal

These themselves are characterized by being very general; that is, they focus on having as many functionalities and capabilities as possible.

Also, due to their general nature, they do not usually focus on a specific theme. Still, they give their users a lot of freedom when managing their profile, their publications, and interacting with the rest of the users with a presence in it.

One of the primary examples of a horizontal social network is Facebook, where you can do a great variety of things: create company pages, groups, group chats, markets, or “Marketplaces,” and you can also add friends and follow public profiles.

In it, both audiovisual and written content abound, so there are a variety of topics and interests that you can come across by browsing it.

Other examples of this type of RRSS are Twitter, MySpace, Netlog, or Weibo in China.

Even, depending on how you see it, Instagram can be considered as a horizontal social network, if we take into account that in each profile, personal space is created, which gives users enough freedom to publish. However, In general, it is usually seen as vertical, being a photo platform.

  • Verticals

Unlike the previous ones, these are the ones that are most limited in terms of subject matter, that is, they are more niche and those in which you are generally going to do something specific.

For example, LinkedIn is one of the best known vertical types, since it is dedicated exclusively to professional life and “Networking.”

Other examples of vertical social networks are:

  • SoundCloud with the music.
  • Minube with the theme of travel.
  • Dogster with dogs.
  • Stratos for design.
  • And also the dating pages like Badoo or Tinder.

In what kind of category would you classify Instagram?

Since I had commented on the Instagram case, we could take it as a “vertical” social network, since it is almost exclusively dedicated to the audiovisual section and photography.

But on the other hand, the number of issues that are discussed within this platform, the existence of “stores” and, above all, the number of people who already have an Instagram account today make it looks very similar to those of horizontal social networks. However, their base remains the photos and videos.


Indeed, discovering what social networks are can open you up to a very diverse and extensive digital world and, in turn, bring you excellent value. In contrast, it can bring you closer to those relatives you have far away, in addition to promoting and disseminating to the informative and commercial contents of your business.