Graduation Year

2015

Graduation Month

July

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

School or Department

Journalism

Major

Journalism

Faculty Mentor

Lee Banville

Faculty Mentor Department

Journalism

Keywords

Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Social Networking

Subject Categories

Arts and Humanities

Abstract

Almost from its inception, the social media universe was centered around one all-encompassing network, Facebook. Today, with technological advancements and an experienced audience of social networkers, Facebook is struggling to meet the increasingly sophisticated and complex array of demands from its users. That is primarily because social networking is now a mass media. Networks that focus on niche markets and specific uses are more effectively addressing the needs of specific groups and are therefore becoming more popular. Facebook is still the largest social network by size, but that is not enough to guarantee its future.

This project is based on my analysis of reports conducted in the field of social networking from academic articles and reports by think tanks and market research firms. To understand the current sphere of social media I analyzed users and their habits. This includes who uses social networks, how they are accessing them, how often and why. I also analyzed research describing the growth and populations of the largest and fastest growing social networks. I conducted a series of interviews with academics in the field of social networking to gain a further understanding of today's social media market and the future of social networking.

Through this systemic view of how people use social networks we can understand the market forces influencing and altering social media. Informed by this research I discovered a hole in the current social media market. Therefore, I have also created the framework for a social networking app to fill this void.

Honors College Research Project

Yes

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© Copyright 2015 Sydney M. Gillette