The rise of social networks has meant many different things, for many different people. There are many ways to use this new and exciting technology. But first, a brief primer of what exactly is social networking, or what is more commonly known as Web 2.0.
Social networks allow web visitors to interact in ways that are never before possible in any other mediums. On social networks, you are able to read articles, download PDF reports, leave comments, chat with your friends, participate in forums, vote for your favorite content, share bookmarks, attend video meetings, play games, and more. You can do all that on the Internet. But you can't do that with the television, the radio, the telephone, and the fax machine. The Internet is being used by people all over the world to connect with one another, through many different means and formats such as text, audio, and video. It allows web users to get an instant response from the other half of the globe, without having to pay for hefty fees.
Web 2.0 has been on the rise, and that is a well known fact. We see the rise of Frienster, MySpace, YouTube, and now, Facebook. All these sites have made it to the top ten sites in the entire world in a few short years, with Facebook overtaking MySpace recently. And the reason why Facebook has been able to do that, is because Facebook allows developers to develop third party applications on its platform. This presents huge opportunities for many different people.
One industry that has greatly benefited from Facebook's developer platform, is the entertainment industry. Or more specifically, the gaming industry. Developers have invented innovative games to be hosted on Facebook's platform, so that now, members of Facebook can simply install the game for free with a click on the button, and play it either by them self, or play it with their friends. Of course, if they want to play the same game with their friends, they would have to share it with them, and get them to install the game as well. That's very easy to do within the Facebook website, and Facebook members have certainly been spreading the applications that they like. The first wave of third party applications have already seen millions of members installing the applications.
As a real life illustration, one of the most impressive games, now hosted on Facebook, allows the player to play the role of a virtual crime lord. It's called Corruption Unlimited. You can play this game alone, or with friends. There's an internal chat system for communications. And the coolest thing about this game is that you can even play it from your mobile phone. That means you can interact with your friends and play the game while you are commuting. That's really going to be useful for some people.
Every day, more and more third party applications like Corruption Unlimited are being developed by talented developers. When I contacted the developer, he boasted an impressive three thousand hours of coding was invested into making the game play more exciting. With such talented developers around, the Social Networks have indeed become a more exciting place.