If you’re online – which we know you are as you’re reading this article – then you’ll be aware of social networks. Hell, “aware” is the very least you’ll be, and you’re more likely to be a member of one, two, three, or more of these notoriously pervasive entities. Owing to this job I belong to an inordinate number of them, though you can count on one hand the number on which I’m truly active.
Social networks exist on the surface to cater to our needs, allowing us to keep in touch with friends and family, share photos with each other, discuss current events, and make new connections, among other things. In reality most are businesses out to make money by inviting us in to their webs where they’ll consume our data before spitting it out into the laps of anyone willing to pay for it.
We all know this is true, and yet we play along regardless to such a degree we even have our favorite social networks. I’m a fan of both Facebook and Twitter, with a little Quora and Reddit on the side. But what about you? This question formed the basis for last week’s We Ask You column.
We asked you, What Is Your Favorite Social Network, & Why? The response was phenomenal, with more than 100 comments and counting. There was the usual mix of long and short comments, but overall the discussion was informative.
In terms of pure numbers the social networks stack up in the following order:-
There really are no surprises here, with these names always likely to make up the top four. However, there is obviously more to it than that. What follows are some of the keywords people associated with the particular social networking site they chose as their favorite.
Facebook — Populated, Convenient, Games.
Google+ — Powerful, Circles, Slick.
Twitter — Simple, Intelligent, Interesting.
LinkedIn — Valuable, Professional, Well-Organized.
Comment Of The Week
We had great input from the likes of Christine St Syr Griffin, edyshor, and Bumferry, to name just a few. Comment Of The Week goes to Austin H, who won with this comment:
My favorite social network is Instagram, however, that might change if Facebook starts changing tons of stuff with it. I like the layout and I love iPhoneography. I especially like that people can follow me without me having to follow them. I’m not one of those “post your mediocre meal” kinds of IGers, and I only follow a handful of my real life friends. Mostly, I like to follow other people who are into mobile photography.
I also like Pinterest a lot for some of the same reasons. I don’t feel the need to seek out real life friends. Personally, I’d rather find out about their interests by actually talking to them. But I love following other interesting people in the world and seeing the things that they’ve discovered that I’m also interested in. Where else can I get a wealth of internet memes and DIY projects? My biggest qualm with it is also what I like about it. It feels too open. I don’t like that there is no approval process for following boards, and even though their are private boards, it seems a little backwards that people need to be invited rather than request to view/join it.
Of course I use Facebook, but have found that I really only use it to check events once or twice a week and for some social logins. I know that Twitter has been around for a long time now, but I have never really understood it’s point. I made one a while ago, but I don’t think I’ve used it more than ten times.
Anyways, that’s my two cents!
We like this comment because although it may only be Austin’s “two cents” it’s a well-considered explanation of his favorite social networks and the reasons why they’re his favorites. It also helps that he chooses to discuss a couple of the smaller social networks, namely Instagram and Pinterest.
We will be asking a new question tomorrow, so please join us then. We Ask You is a weekly column dedicated to finding out the opinions of MakeUseOf readers. We ask you a question and you tell us what you think. The question is open-ended and is usually open to debate. Some questions will be purely opinion-based, while others will see you sharing tips and advice, or advocating tools and apps for your fellow MakeUseOf readers. This column is nothing without your input, all of which is valued.
Image Credit: Chelsea Gomez