Social networking sites like Facebook have changed the way people socialize – allowing friends to share photos, messages, and gossip in one convenient online spot. Facebook was created in 2004 by a college student, for college students, with great success. Since then, Facebook has grown tremendously, with more than 80 million active users today. The concept of social networking is so popular, in fact, that it’s even turned the word “friend” into a verb (I “friend” you when I add you to my list of Facebook friends). With the introduction of third party applications within Facebook, users are also sending virtual beer, hugs, karma, and flowers to friends.
Because of its heavy base of young adults, many don’t think of Facebook as a useful online tool for business or families. If used consciously, however, Facebook can be handy as well as fun. Professional Facebook users can create a work-friendly profile to connect with colleagues and clients, to promote causes, support presidential candidates, or publish creative work. Families can use Facebook to update relatives and share memories. Because Facebook is growing so quickly and has so many users, it has become a new sort of public space – a place where people can come together to share ideas and discuss opportunities, as well as a place to sit down for a virtual drink with a friend.
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