The Social Networking Essay

1298 words - 6 pages

Social networking is one of the most active web-based activities in the Philippines, with Filipinos being declared as the most activeusers on a number of web-based social network sites such as Friendster, Friendly, Facebook, Multiply, and Twitter. The use of social networking website has become so extensive in the Philippines that the country has been tagged as "The Social Networking Capital of the World," and has also become part of Filipino cyberculture. Social networking is also used in the Philippines as a form of election campaign material, as well as tools to aid criminal investigation.

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History
Friendster is one of the first social ...view middle of the document...

With over 7.9 million Filipinos using the Internet, 6.9 million of them visit a social networking site at least once a month. At times, Friendster has been the most visited website in the Philippines, as well as in Indonesia, according to web tracking site Alexa. David Jones, vice president for global marketing of Friendster, said that "the biggest percentage of (their site's) users is from the Philippines, clocking in with 39 percent of the site's traffic." He further added that in March 2008 alone, Friendster recorded 39 million unique visitors, with 13.2 million of whom were from the Philippines. Meanwhile, Multiply president and founder Peter Pezaris said that the Filipino users of their site comprised the largest and most active group in terms of number of subscribers and of photographs being uploaded daily. About 2.2 million out of more than nine million registered users of Multiply are Filipinos, outnumbering even nationalities with a bigger population base like the United States, Indonesia, and Brazil. Also, one million photographs are uploaded by Filipinos to Multiply every day, which is half of their total number worldwide.
Sixty percent of Filipino users of Multiply are female, while 70 percent are under the age of 25. In comparison, Filipino Friendster users are between the ages 16 to 30, with 55 percent of them female.
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Expansions in the Philippine market
With the popularity of social networking in the Philippines, Friendster and Multiply thought of ways to capitalize the local market. The former concluded that online advertising would not work in a country with limited Internet access, and instead focused on the developing services based on mobile phones which is much more widespread, starting with providing free phone calls between members as well as a mobile phone text messaging service to its Filipino users. It also experimented on online classifieds with Pusit. Meanwhile, Multiply launched its Philippine version. Multiply Philippines is developed in partnership with ABS-CBN Interactive to grow its user base in the country, as well as tapping into its local advertising and mobile services.

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Application in Filipino culture and society
The popularity of social networking in the Philippines can be traced in the Filipinos' culture of "friends helping friends." For Filipinos, their friends and who they know can become more valuable than money, especially when what they need can be achieved through nepotism, favoritism, and friendship among others.
Social networking has extensive uses in the Philippines. It was used to promote television programs like Pinoy Big Brother: Teen Edition Plus with its two profiles on Multiply. A call center company posted job openings on its Multiply community site and was able to attract recruits. The power of social networking was tested in...

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