SNS (Social Networking)
Social networking services, as exemplified by services such as Facebook and Twitter, are showing ever more widespread growth; with the appearance of the business-oriented LinkedIn, services such as Instagram and Pinterest that specialize in photographic images, and the review service Yelp. The characteristic features of social networking include the fact that they enable gathering of trustworthy information from other people that the user trusts, and easy accumulation of trend-related information and other information from friends.
Because social networking enables targeting of advertisements based on users’ personal information, the typical business SNS model is advertising.
Other business models are also emerging. For example, the business-oriented SNS LinkedIn sells functionality such as for sending messages directly to registered users; and PatientsLikeMe (a social networking service for sharing information on medical treatments amongst patients) is expanding its sales by selling anonymous treatment data to medical institutions.
One distinguishing feature of social networking is that accounts are for social purposes, but almost all SNS services are developed in combination with various other services. Because the typical business model is the advertising model, many services implement user analysis and advertisement distribution functionality.