Wikipedia defines social networking service as “…an online service, platform, or site that focuses on building and reflecting of social networks or social relations among people, e.g., who share interests and/or activities”. Some popular social networking service sites are facebook and twitter.
The world has gone social. The primary evidence is when you log in to your facebook account and see how many of your friends are online. More and more people are getting online every day and make it as part of their daily life. They engage with each other, playing games, sharing activities, interests, and/or passions with their network of friends. They discover meaningful contents for them and join conversations. The activity and authenticity of the social network is made up of real people – and these people could be your customers.
That is one reason why it is beneficial for businesses to integrate social networks, such as facebook and twitter, to their websites. Once a user like, recommend or tweet your website, it will be shared to their network of friends and this personal recommendation is a powerful kind of endorsement. Your website will have more opportunity to be visited that offers your products and/or services to be known to customers.
Ever wonder how many people can find your facebook page or tweets? According to Wikipedia, facebook now has over 600 million active users all over the world while twitter has 200 million (as of January 2011). It’s now time for your business to join these social networking sites to keep in touch of your customers and get the edge by integrating it to your website.
There are many ways of integrating these social networking sites to your website or web applications. Social networking sites provide Widgets, APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) and SDKs (Software Development Kits) or devkits which Software Developers can use to create custom applications or integration supported by their platform. For example, Facebook has the “Graph API” that enables us to read and write data to Facebook. We can now retrieve data like photos, events, likes, update statuses and other data objects. They also provide SDKs for certain programming languages like Facebook PHP SDK that provide Facebook Platform support for PHP-based web applications. Other Facebook SDK include Android SDK, .NET SDK, etc.
Article and Presentation by John Michael Dalisay, Junior Software Developer for EACOMM Corporation.