Informatics provides the means for a development and growth of social networking services. The cost for communications has been reduced by enabling simultaneous transmission of multimedia content. On professional level, videoconference systems can accommodate people from all over the world to organize meetings and arrange their business, hence the issue of distance and time has been eliminated. On personal level, people can contact with their friends at anytime without considering the economical problem or the distance, especially when someone is resident of a foreign country. Also informatics , allows us to store, analyze and search through massive amounts of data on very short time. In addition, informatics links various devices such as smart-phones, tablets and personal computers.
Modern devices are adjusted for usage of the same protocols and standards, which overcomes hardware difference. Moreover, Informatics has strong contribution on the development of algorithms, applying it on cryptography. Besides that it is used for computing, biometrics and primarily for graph algorithms, which solve problems related to scheduling, connection, transportation, games and network analysis. Algorithms are further associated with neural networks. That makes it even more efficient for data study, decision-making process and machine learning. As the complexity of solution grows and the number of people involved in the project increases, so does the further development complexity. Even there, Informatics responds with various solutions by software engineering and IT management.
Neverless, the users don’t want a perfect workingly services, it also has to be interesting and handy for their needs. Therefore, informatics has to offer solutions and ideas on the field of user-user interaction, which is actually based on user-service interaction. Numerous social games or virtual worlds, where we can interact with other users like in the real world gives us the feeling that we communicate directly with other users, but such services have many tasks behind the scene. Users create groups and share interests, experience, feedbacks, habit. In the backend, the social networking service may collect, analyze and learn from data. For instance, chat service can build database of words we use the most and add them in auto-complete functionality, which speeds up search and messaging.
The main goal of user interfaces is simplified user-service (human-machine) interaction and therefore, better user experience. A social networking service has to be easy to use, attractive, competitive and scalable. It must treat users as spoiled, lazy and always unsatisfied. They want real-time monitoring, the feeling of a safe and effective application. The best systems for social networking are those, which make it possible for users to use it easily in spite of their age, previous computer skills or specific demands.
3. Social networking services threats
Social networking services as a product of Informatics and social networks gave us unimaginable opportunity to connect with people. On the other hand, they have many disadvantages. The illusion of safety, often make us forget the possible consequences. Heedless of the danger, we share our personal data with people who we do not know, therefore a lot of misuses appear. Companies trade information about users, there are many cases of identity thefts, in brief, social networks offer a chance for various criminal offenses. We know very little about how and where they store our personal data and who has access to them. Even when we adjust our settings for completely private accounts, our friends or services may inadvertently leak our personal information. We do not know whether they will ever actually be deleted.
Immense amount of users is not only bullied interest in networking, but also invaders, who attack and abuse either from personal satisfaction, or even receive payment for their work. They use various attack methods, based on personal profiles, trust or exploits, e.g. social networking worms, such as Koobface.
Similar to Newton’s third law of motion, one can conclude that everything society receives, passes on in the environment. The impact of the social networks on society indirectly affects other fields like economy (PayPal Inc. 2013), education, politics (Shirky 2011), entertainment etc. These fields see social networks as an opportunity to approach to the crowd, mostly for the purpose of manipulation (Benham, Edwards, Fractenberg, Gordon-Murnane, Hetherington, Liptak & Mintz 2012). The most common use of manipulation can be seen in setting imaginary guidelines, viral marketing and targeted advertising (Mitra & Baid 2009, 366-372). Referring to paragraph three, companies have free access to some of our personal data, or they can reach us by low cost targeted advertising, offered by social networking services (Eddy2012).
It may be based on specific personal profiles, such as sex, interests, education, status, age, geographical location and even on private messages content.Motivated by Domingos and Richardson Viral Marketing Model (Richardson & Domingos 2002, 61-70), numerous companies are searching for cheapest ways to adopt a new product or innovation, whilst seeking for smallest subset of individuals, which may trigger a large cascade of further adoptions. They are interested in individuals who have the greatest impact on the target social network (Kempe, Kleinberg & Tardos 2003, 137-146). Moreover, the use of technologies offered by social networking services can reduce the development costs (Churchill & Halverson 2005) or can simplify the use of applications e.g. registration system with the existing user accounts from social networks.
Furthermore, with clicking on the ‘’like’’ buttons one contributes to profiling users (Hung, Huang, Hsu & Wu 2008), which is especially interesting and useful in research, determining trends, positioning in the search engines etc. Recent studies, based on a dataset of over 58,000 volunteers suggest, that easily accessible digital records of users behavior in social networking systems, can be used to automatically and accurately predict a range of highly sensitive personal attributes (Kosinski, Stillwell & Graepel 2013), e.g. religious and political views, intelligence, happiness, parental separation etc. However, the economy influences social networks by adapting social networking and its services according to the needs of the users. Economy’s investments in the most prospective social networking services have a significant influence as they allow further development, starting new projects, research and changing habits of users.
The expansion of new research areas in the field of Informatics led to re-implementation of social interactions in social networking services. Therefore, changes in the field of social networks are incredibly fast to keep up with. Nevertheless, in few last years, we may notice two main trends that have emerged; visualization of content and mobile use and sharing (Bullas 2012). For trend of content visualization we can find the reasons in exceptional progress in technologies for detecting patterns in digital images. Thus allow analysis and image processing on servers where social networking services can get even more personal information about users.
This motivated investments in deeper research, and in further years we may expect DNA data sharing, through which social networking services may link us and connect to all our near and distant relatives. Mobile use and sharing trend will continue to grow, since use of smart mobile devices is increasing. Better user experience, mobility, availability, as well as faster and cheaper mobile data transfer are just few of many reasons. Recent technologies, like digital glasses (Google Inc.2013), may allow us to record and share each moment of our life. Despite strong efforts of the health sector, where currently more than 350 million people suffer from addiction of social networking services (Bullas 2012), at the continued growth of those services trend is likely to continue.
Only a few decades ago, we have not even intuited how important role will Informatics have in our daily life and how huge contribution will have through its social networking services on us, social networks and global economy. Social networking services as part of social networks are one of the hottest research topics nowadays. We have poor insights in their long term impact on society, since we have witnessed true expansion only in the last few years. However, the first negative implications, like privacy issues are already visible, as well as first solutions, which aim to limit misuse. Recently, Apple has published a patent, which targets social network stalkers and spammers. The excessive use of social networking services promote narcissism (Buffardi & Campbell 2008, 1303-1314). As one has thousands of virtual friends, this could mean that in real life he does not have them at all (Tong, Van Der Heide, Langwell & Walther 2008, 531-549). And finally, one of the studies suggests that frequent use of social networking services may lead to asocial user behavior (Orr, Sisic, Ross, Simmering & Arseneault 2009, 337-340). These are just some of the findings of studies pointing to major changes in society.