Professional uses within education

Professional use of social networking services refers to the employment of a network site to connect with other professionals within a given field of interest. SNSs like LinkedIn, a social networking website geared towards companies and industry professionals looking to make new business contacts or keep in touch with previous co-workers, affiliates, and clients. Other network sites are now being used in this manner, Twitter has become [a] mainstay for professional development as well as promotion[41] and online SNSs support both the maintenance of existing social ties and the formation of new connections. Much of the early research on online communities assume that individuals using these systems would be connecting with others outside their preexisting social group or location, liberating them to form communities around shared interests, as opposed to shared geography.[42] Other researchers have suggested that the professional use of network sites produce “social capital.” For individuals, social capital allows a person to draw on resources from other members of the networks to which he or she belongs. These resources can take the form of useful information, personal relationships, or the capacity to organize groups. As well, networks within these services also can be established or built by joining special interest groups that others have made, or creating one and asking others to join. LinkedIn (NYSE: LNKD) (pron.: /?lkt.n/) is a social networking website for people in professional occupations. Founded in December 2002 and launched on May 5, 2003, t is mainly used for professional networking. As of June 2012, LinkedIn reports more than 175 million registered users in more than 200 countries and territories. The site is available in English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, Dutch, Swedish, Romanian, Russian, Turkish, Japanese, Czech, Polish, Korean, Indonesian, and Malay. Quantcast reports LinkedIn has 21.4 million monthly unique U.S. visitors and 47.6 million globally. In June 2011, LinkedIn had 33.9 million unique visitors, up 63 percent from a year earlier and surpassing MySpace. LinkedIn filed for an initial public offering in January 2011 and traded its first shares on May 19, 2011, under the NYSE symbol "LNKD". Twitter is an online social networking service and microblogging service that enables its users to send and read text-based messages of up to 140 characters, known as "tweets". It was created in March 2006 by Jack Dorsey and launched that July. The service rapidly gained worldwide popularity, with over 500 million registered users as of 2012, generating over 340 million tweets daily and handling over 1.6 billion search queries per day. Since its launch, Twitter has become one of the ten most visited websites on the Internet, and has been described as "the SMS of the Internet." Unregistered users can read tweets, while registered users can post tweets through the website interface, SMS, or a range of apps for mobile devices. Twitter Inc. is based in San Francisco, with additional servers and offices in New York City, Boston, and San Antonio.