Future Work

After carrying out this research, two ideas have been proposed, which are:




Initially, it was developed by a software engineer of Google, Orkut Buyukkokten. From the time Google owned Orkut, it has been upgrading since. Over here, I am going to list down some of its features related to friends’ management and privacy issues. Since Gmail account is affiliated with Orkut, it provides a list of those who are in one’s address book and not on the Orkut friends’ list. Recently, Orkut has introduced a functionality to put one’s email address in “Find Friends” section and it would show you a list of all those who aren’t your friend, but added in your address book. “Find Friends” also has a combo box for Hotmail and AOL mail services. One could use these domains to see the same about friends.

The notion of scrapbook has been introduced in Orkut, which provides a platform to communicate through messages.

Google talk can also be associated for live chatting service. It changes one’s nick on getting online to show that one is available to chat. Currently, there is no other means to know who of your friends are online.

Friend categories are defined which makes it easier to classify friend’s group. The categories are:

Privacy issues
Sometime ago, all scrapbooks were open to all. Anyone could read other's scrapbook, no matter she is a friend or not. Following list of things could be changed via settings

  • Scrapbook
  • Photos
  • Videos
  • Testimonials
  • Feeds

Either they could be restricted to view by friends, or publicly by any member of Orkut. Only for scrapbook, one could also set it writeable for “friends of friends”. Feeds Friends’ updates could be seen by feeds, which tell any recent changes in one’s profile to her friends. One could even make her feeds public, that is, whoever visits one’s profile, would see all the recent changes made in it.

Mutual Friends
When a user visits profile of her friend, or even strangers’, all mutual friends are shown under “mutual friends” tab just below friends’ list, which shows how what friends are common in both friends’ list.

A user can join as many communities as she wants. All communities are related to a category, which could be, for example, religion, country, or culture. Every community has an owner, and can add up to 10 moderators for maintenance. Every community has “Related Communities” tabs as well in which owner can add whatever communities she thinks are related to her community.

Based on album notions, a user can create multiple albums of events.

Orkut allows adding videos from popular streaming websites as Youtube, and/or Google videos. Again there is no restriction on how many videos one could add.

Personal Information
From personal to professional information, all could be written down. Whatever one feeds, it would be visible to all the visitors.

Personal Messages
Depending upon the privacy settings, one could receive/send messages from/to friends and even from strangers (if setting is set to be public). Just like other message services, all sent items are also stored.

Community Messages
With the increasing popularity of Orkut, spammers have also exploited it as much as possible. In order to overcome this problem to some extent, Orkut has restricted community messages with over 1000 members, which means, one could only send messages to all community members if the total number of members is less than 1000. Otherwise, any user can send any information which may be of interest, or whatever she likes to share among her community’s members.

Address book maintenance
It provides an easy method to download all the email addresses, along with their names, of one’s friends in a CSV format. The procedure of it is explained in detail, just need a few clickings, and that’s it.

There are two ways to invite one’s friends to join Orkut. First is through address book of email accounts of Hotmail, AOL and Gmail, and the other one is by explicitly written comma separated list of email address. One of the very useful functionalities which Orkut provides is that when user inputs her email address from Hotmail, AOL, or Gmail, it shows a complete list of people who are already member of Orkut, but not added to one’s friends’ list. One may add all the missing friends to her list, just be sending an add request, rather than inviting them to first become its member, and then become your friends.

Searching facility
Orkut provides a universal search option which may be used to search community, friends, or even topics inside a community. Just type in what you are searching for, and click on the tabs to filter it out for users, community or topics. For member searching, an advanced mode is also provided, which could be used to filter out gender, location, religion, and lots of other features.


Like Orkut, Facebook also offers the functionality to invite one’s friends through address book of email accounts in

  • Hotmail/MSN
  • Gmail
  • Yahoo
  • AOL
  • Comcast.net
  • Bellsouth
  • Web.de
  • Gmx.de

A good thing for developing an invitee list is: Facebook tells how to create a list of contacts of

  • Outlook
  • Outlook Express
  • Windows Address Book
  • Mozilla Thunderbird
  • Palm Desktop
  • Palm Desktop (vCard)
  • Entourage
  • Mac OS X Address Book
  • LinkedIn

by giving explanation for each of them. A naïve user can easily import all the contacts from these tools/services into Facebook by following the given instructions.

Or alternatively, one could send invitation via comma separated list of email addresses. Applications

One of the most important thing which different Facebook from rest of the social networking websites is its Applications, which motivated other social networking websites to adopt it via “Open Social”, which is an Open API, and provides open platform to develop Applications for them. Facebook offers loads of applications to the users, which range from chatting to gaming applications. The major drawback, which I feel, is what applications are using what data of mine? Since most the applications here were developed by third party, Facebook doesn’t take any responsibilities for their usage; neither does it have any check and balance over them. There could be some malicious applications exploiting users’ data, but surprisingly, people don’t care. And have been using them, either out of ignorance, or they really don’t care.

Limited Profile
Unlike Orkut, Facebook provides an option to hide one’s album and other personal details if one doesn’t want to share with everyone, or even with a not-so-close friend who is added in one’s friends list. On adding a friend, privacy details could be opted, allowing her friend to see either a complete or limited profile. These privacy settings for every friend could be changed afterwards as well.

Groups and Network
Groups are just like communities in Orkut, and a network represents an association/affiliation with an institute or a company. One could set any single network as her identity. It would be displayed whenever his profile becomes visible in a group/search or wherever her profile name appears. All the recent groups joined by friends, are displayed in a group section, which could be a motivation factor to her friends to join them as well. Apart from a discussion board, Groups can have photos, videos, posted items to its page.

Whatever changes in one’s profile, all updates are then supplied to one’s all friends via feeds. It could be any addition of groups, change in picture, mood, or any other change.

Unfortunately, there is no way to add videos to one’s profile. Although, one could share videos through some applications, but she permanently can’t associate them with her profile.


MySpace supports following email services

  • Tiscali
  • Libero
  • Web.de
  • AOL
  • Yahoo[[BR]]
  • Hotmail
  • GMX

Address book
The primary key, so to say, in MySpace is profile’s URL. It asks for a URL if a contact is to be added. One could also add people by giving their email address, full name, or display name. I couldn’t find any way to download all the contacts. For privacy concerns, MySpace says that it doesn’t store any login information of any email accounts.

For communication between people, messages are used. And for this, instead of email address for identification, MySpace’s profile link is used in “To” and “From” fields. All relevant folders like “sent items” and address book are part of this service.

Just like youtube, and video.google.com, MySpace has its own service of videos, known as “MySpaceTV”, which could directly be accessed publicly via www.myspacetv.com or with this URL http://vids.myspace.com/ once you are logged in. One could add her own videos too. Just fill in some description about tags and category of the video you would like to upload, and then a pop-up window will appear. Browse through it and upload it. The supported formats are .avi, .asf, .dv, .wmv, .mov, .qt, .3g2, .3gp, .3gp2, .3gpp, .gsm, .mpg, .mpeg, .mp4, .m4v, .mp4v, .cmp, .divx, .xvid, .264, .rm, .rmvb, .flv, .mkv, .ogm And the maximum size of a video is 100 MB. One could either set its visibility public, or private.

There are four categories in it, which are
1- Find a Friend
This gives facility to find people either through their full name, display name, or even through their email addresses.

2- Find a School
Giving school’s whereabouts, MySpace shows its page, if it exists. There a listing of all students/alumni which is displayed, and then one could filter out search according to a multitude of values, which could be gender, age, status, and others.

3- Search Profiles for People with Similar Personal Interests
Based on general interest, movies, books and music, people could be searched.

4- Search Profiles for People with Similar Career Interests
As for finding career related profiles, this functionality is used.

MySpace has its own chat client, known as MySpace IM. One could send messages to friends, do voice chat. It is supported by Skype. It’s a complete messenger, and needs an installation on one’s computer to work.

Profile Customization
Perhaps, the most flexible and attracting feature which differentiates MySpace from other social networks is its customization of profiles. Every profile looks totally different. Users can change background image, add videos, songs, or even their blogs to their profile. It gives lot of flexibility to users, which makes it so popular.

On almost all the categories, topics can be created in it. There are already top categories of almost all topics have been created.


It is also another social network website, but with a focus on professional contacts. Some of the key features of it are:

  • Find potential clients, service providers, subject experts, and partners who come recommended
  • Be found for business opportunities
  • Search for great jobs
  • Discover inside connections that can help you land jobs and close deals
  • Post and distribute job listings
  • Find high-quality passive candidates
  • Get introduced to other professionals through the people you know

It has more than 20 million users of 150 different industries.

As for building network from email accounts is concerned, LinkedIn provides following email services for finding your contacts and/or inviting them to join it. The services are:

  • Yahoo
  • Gmail
  • AOL

Also, comma separated values of email address could be supplied as well. In detail, LinkedIn also give directions to its member to import contacts from Outlook, the Palm Desktop, or ACT!, tab-separated files from the Palm Desktop, or vCard files.

If someone visits other profiles, the degree of separation is displayed to show how that person is related to you, i.e. how far is she with your network. If two persons are connected directly, that would be 1st degree, and if a person visits another profile, which is in the connection of her friends, then that would be 2nd degree, and so on so forth.

The idea of “InMails” is introduced in it, which allows any LinkedIn user to contact any other through message service. No matter if the receiver is in your network or not, you still can contact her. This feature is not free of cost, rather a bit expensive, I would say. It costs 10 dollars for each InMail message.

The listing of groups is quite small, which covers a limited number of organizations. Also, apparently group search doesn’t work at the moment; and gives the following error “The group’s directory is not currently open. We are working on creating a searchable directory for all groups. If there are groups you wish to join, you may click on the group logo from the profile of a group member and request to join.”

Which, definitely, is not acceptable.

This is what introduction is, according to LinkedIn notions:

Introductions let you contact users in your network, through the people you know. If you want to contact a LinkedIn user who is two or three degrees away from you, you can request an introduction through one of your connections. Your connection will, in turn, decide whether to forward it on to the desired recipient (if in your 2nd degree) or to a shared connection (if in your 3rd degree).

If one views someone’s profile, it also shows a list of profiles which were visited by others when the current one was viewed, under “Viewers of this profile also viewed...” tab.

In general, recommendations tell how worthy a person is. Adopting the same concept, LinkedIn provides a functionality to add recommendations on one’s profile, by asking your current or former colleagues to recommend you. This whole process is started by writing an email to your colleague, who is already added in your connection, and then she will respond by writing you one.

Network Updates
It gives feeds about your connections’ update. What connections have they developed, or what groups did they join in a past few days.

Just joined LinkedIn
This tells what colleagues and classmates have joined schools, universities, or offices in which one is affiliated, or had any affiliation. One could see their name, or even their profiles. And if found them interesting, can send an add request.

There are three categories in it
- Advanced people search
This search allows having a detailed set of parameters for location, industry, company information, key words, and other geographical and career oriented parameters. There is no required field. One could also restrict the search results to only her groups.

- Name Search
This is simpler search facility which requires inputting last name of the person to be searched. Additionally, country and postal code could also be given.

- Reference Search
To find potential employer(s), company search along with date range gives a list of employee who could be contacted, provided that they could be reached. This functionality is also for paid users.

Profile Completeness
When someone becomes a member of LinkedIn, and fills the required fields; after that, it shows what percentage of information has been provided, and what would make her profile 100 percent complete. Here is the list of items which make one’s profile complete

  • Current position
  • Two past positions
  • Education
  • Profile summary
  • A profile photo
  • Specialties
  • At least three recommendations


Message service
It contains message board with inbox and sent. Apart from that, there is a bulletin board as well, which could be used to ask questions, party announcements, or any other personal. This board would be visible to your friends, and your fans.

All friends’ update is shown. What changes have they made in their profile, when were they online, and what friends have they met.

There are six categories of searching, which are

  • Search

This is an advanced level search which allows finding people by their location, status, gender, or by their favorite movies, books, and so on.

  • Find by name

This allows searching people either with their name or emailing address. Location could also be supplied to narrow down search results.

  • College search

It contains a very limited number of colleges of selected countries. One could search people by supplying a date range, and degree level.

  • School search

Same functionality as college search

  • Web search

Google search

  • Search Groups

Group search by their names could be searched. And it could be further filtered out by groups’ categories and location.

Just like Facebook, Friendster also supports applications. It is also part of OpenSocial project as well. The broad categories of applications are:

  • Slideshows and Photos
  • Just For Fun
  • Entertainment
  • Games
  • News and Information
  • Sports
  • TV Shows
  • Video
  • Music

A very detailed documentation for developers is also provided

Profile Customization
One could add videos, photos, and skins from the set of almost 40. Also, one could add reviews, blog entries, music, featured friends (fans), or any topic to a bulletin board.

Invitation/Address book
It also provides service to fetch email address from popular email websites, which are:

  • Yahoo
  • Hotmail
  • gmail
  • aol
  • sina.com
  • 163.com
  • 126.com
  • Daum.net
  • qq.com

Apart from that, members could also supply a list of email address, or a file containing comma separated list of email address.

Privacy concerns
It allows a profile to be either limited, that means only one’s friends can see the full version, or it can be public, that mean any friendster member can go through it. Also, it provides a facility to anonymously browse profile, but you won’t be able to see who visited your profile as well. Or you could be known in other’s recent visitors list, and can see who were the last 100 (maximum that is) people visited your profile. One could even block a person as well.

One could join as many groups as she wants. There is a huge list of group categories, ranging from religion, culture to science. There are two kinds of groups: Public: Anyone can join them without owner’s approval. Private One needs group owner’s approval in order to become its member.

A group contains following portions
A list of members is shown with their location, what are their preferences for meeting people, and when was the last time they logged into friendster.

Group related photos could be added

Queries, questions, or fun related threads could be created. It’s just a like forum

Any announcement of an event, be it religious, historical or cultural, can be announced here.

Friendster social data
We have deployed a crawl of social data from Friendster. This dataset can be used for further research. Click here to view details of this dataset.


List of websites and the features of their social network

Site Show friends of friends Public and private profiles photo sharingmeassage board Chatting
MySpace Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes (by MySpaceIM)
Orkut Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes (By Google talk)
Friendster Yes Yes Yes Yes No (not built-in feature)
LinkedIn Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Facebook Yes Yes (even could be restricted among friends) Yes Yes Yes (Just introduced it a few days ago)

Usablity and ranking with features