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For the social science theoretical concept of relationships between people, see Social network.

Most social network services are web-based and provide means for users to interact over the Internet, such as by e-mail and instant messaging and online forums.

Social networking sites are varied and they incorporate a range new information and communication tools such as availability on desktop and laptops, mobile devices such as tablet computers and smartphones, digital photo/video/sharing and "web logging" diary entries online (blogging).

Online community services are sometimes considered a social network service, though in a broader sense, social network service usually means an individual-centered service whereas online community services are group-centered.

Social networking sites allow users to share ideas, digital photos and videos, posts, and inform others about online or real world activities and events with people in their network.

A study reveals that India has recorded world's largest growth in terms of social media users in 2013.

Furthermore, the idea that these services are defined by their ability to bring people together provides too broad a definition.Such a broad definition would suggest that the telegraph and telephone were social networking services – not the Internet technologies scholars are intending to describe.(3) users create service-specific profiles for the site or app that often include their photo, a list of their demographic information, and information about their interests.These profiles are designed and maintained by the SNS organization, ARPANET, LISTSERV, and bulletin board services (BBS).While in-person social networking, such as gathering in a village market to talk about events has existed since the earliest developments of towns, the Web enables people to connect with others who live in different locations, ranging from across a city to across the world.Depending on the social media platform, members may be able to contact any other member.In other cases, members can contact anyone they have a connection to, and subsequently anyone that contact has a connection to, and so on.