COMPARITIVE ANALYSIS: A CASE STUDY OF FACEBOOK AND RENREN.
ABSTRACT: Social networks serve as a platform for connectivity and entertaintment as priority. Every SNS differentiate the other according to geography and demography. This study serves as a comparative analysis of two famous identical Social Networking Sites; Facebook and Renren. The study focuses on the case study of both SNS. With the detailed insights of the SNS, the author discovers the reasons behind dfferntiation in both SNS. Despite the fact that both SNS look same, but in reality there are big differences among the features of both SNS. Each SNS develops its features according to their cultural norms and beliefs. Facebook keeps on growing because of introducing novel features back to back based on the vision of making the world more open. Whereas Renren has become stagnant (in terms of growing users) because it is sensitive towards the after effects of any innovative features. The conclusion described that both SNS cannot be considered as look-alike of each other.
The basis for Facebook and Renren is built on the cultural difference of both countries. Which is a huge difference between both SNS, their vision and ultimately their goals.
Keywords: Comparative analysis, Facebook, Renren, innovative features, culture difference.
Becoming social is not a currently emerged phenomenon. Socializing is a natural process. Although the way of socializing is now changed, but it has been endured since existence of human beings. In today's world where almost everything is digitalized, Socialization is also switched from traditional to digital by introducing different Social Network Sites (SNS). SNS are a modern way of meeting people, forming relationships with other users of same Social Network by conveying same interest, norms, beliefs and so on. Soccializing is a main factor behind an individual's success in society; therefore, similar concept applies for the organisations as well. SNS are becoming an integral part of our lives. They are no more restricted only to act as an indispensible platform for people to connect with the world but they are providing much more. SNS today are striving to expand their Social Network Sites by introducing attractive novel features.
Each SNS have their very own differentiated features, but some common features include playing games (in groups or Individually), listening music, liking and creating pages (that represents any business, public figure, in terms of their user's demography and sources they use through Alexa.com . Chen and Gonglue has analyzed that self-presentation is sensitive to national culture .
3. SOCIAL NETWORKING SITES AND THEIR USERS
Internet users are increasing rapidly all over the world.
According to "internet users stats" 40% of world population have internet connection today . In 1995, it was <1%. The number of internet users has increased tenfold from 1999 to the year 2013. The first billion was reached in the year 2005. The second billion was reached in 2010 and third billion in 2014. Internet use has kept on increasing dramatically since 1990's. This increase resulted in many innovations in computer world, was it the introduction of Personal computers (PCs) or the invention of Android/iOS everything is modernized. In the year 2008 world internet users were 1.5 billion and surpassing 3 billion nowadays. Adopting the mobile phones has contributed greatly in increasing the internet users by providing cheaper and faster internet access in remote areas. Right after emerging increase in Internet users SNS were introduced in early 2000's and slowly became popular.
The world was considered a global village a decade ago when the communication became quite places etc), sharing pictures and videos and instant messaging. These features are introduced according to the users perspective. SNS collectively connects people but may have different motives regarding the targeted cultures that's why different social networks are popular amongst different countries that suits their culture more. This article is focused on two giant SNS from world's leading economies RENREN belonging to China and United State's FACEBOOK. The Purpose of this study is to explore the differntiation of Social networking sites among the different cultures. Section 2 carries previous research on Facebook and Renren. Section 3 includes Different networks, their popularity and Users. Section 4 covers features details for renren and section 5 is about facebook features.
2. PREVIOUS WORK
Being the two biggest SNS Facebook and Renren are frequently studied by different scholars. Lin, Han and Angela have described cultural differences and behavioral switching between Facebook and Renren users . Lin Li has compared Facebook and Renren easier than before. Now the world is being called as The Global Village Online. The concept of diverting global village online led the internet tycoons to show news ways of socializing throughout the world and the first Social Networking Site that was open to the whole world was introduced in the year 2002. Presently, there are hundreds of social network sites and more than approximately 1.8 billion people use these sites. Some of the famous SNS are mentioned in Figure 1. Each SNS have its own features that are specially design to grab their targeted market. Figure 1 shows different SNS's and the number of the parentage of their users.
Facebook being world's top SNS has around 864,000,000 users, Renren being china's famous SNS has around 219,000,000 users, Instagram introduced in October 2010 is an online Photo/video sharing SNS that has grabbed 200,000,000 users in 4 years till now. Twitter an SNS that allows users to send and read short messages, has reached 255,000,000 users since its birth in the year 2006. Google + an SNS and identity service launched in 2011 is having 540,000,000 users. LinkedIn, a professional networking site is surpassing 187,000,000 users. Snapchat, a photo/video messaging service introduced in 2011 has up to 100,000,000 users. Pinterest providing users collect and share visual bookmarks, launched in the year 2010 is having 70,000,000 presently. Vine a short form video sharing service is used by 40,000,000 people till now.
Renren is social networking internet platform in the People's Republic of China, that was founded by Joseph Chen a graduate from University of Delaware in the year.
4. RENREN AND ITS FEATURES
2005. The other founders of Renren include Mr. Wang Xing, Wang Huiwen, Lai Binqiang and Tang Yang. Renren is currently owned by Oak Pacific Interactive (OPI) a Chinese Internet consortium that created a similar college social network called 5Q. Renren's was initially called as "Xiaonei Network" which means "on-campus network" or "inside the school network". In August 2009 the name was changed from "Xiaonei" to "Renren". Renren is a Chinese word which means "everyone". Renren had 70 million registered users at that time. The logo and the changed name announced it that this Chinese network was no more restricted to the college students but expanded to whole Chinese. Renren is quite famous in China and allows its users to connect and communicate with each other, play games online, create user generated content, play online games, listen to music, shop for deals and a range of its unique features and services.
Renren believes real name relationship create a stronger and more enduring social graph that is essential in the mobile internet world and difficult to replicate .That is why renren restricted its users to use specific IP Addresses from specified colleges so that the users should only use their real names and post real pictures and the fake IDs should be avoided.
4.1 Renren Users
Renren's activated users had reached to 219 million in September 30, 2014. The monthly active users in 2014 were reported around 44 million, which is decreased 10% from September, 2013. A huge part of Renren users is of students and white collar professionals.
4.2 Censorship/ Restrictions
Renren's censorship policy is quite strict as compared to other SNS in China. Any posts that are related politics or sensitive issues are blocked by the administration.
4.3 Renren Milestone
2005: In December Renren was founded with the name Xiaonei. 2006: Oak Pacific Interactive acquired Xiaonei.com.
2007: Xiaonei allowed third parties to render modifications in July. 2008: Xiaonei launched its WAP (Wireless Application Protocol) version for mobiles in March. In April, 14 percent share of Xiaonei was purchased by Softbank (a Japanese telecommunications and Internet Corporation). 2009: Xiaonei changed its name to Renren and its domain to renren.com. Renrenzhuomian (an instant messaging service) was introduced. 2010: Renren's revenue reached at 76 million US dollars. Oak Pacific announced to integrate Renren with Kaixin on September 29, 2010. Oak Pacific renamed to Renren Inc 2011: Renren filed with SEC (Security and Exchange Commission) in April 2011 to raise 584 million US dollars in a US IPO. In October, Renren Inc became the first company that offered both mobile and PC cross-platform mobile games . Renren acquired the Wole Inc (WOLE Inc is China based and operates as a subsidiary of Renren.Inc. In September, Renren announced to acquire 56.com (an online video site) .
2012: New users profile Timeline was officially launched in October.In March, Microsoft selected Renren.com as the first social networking application for Windows 8 application store .In June, jingwei mobile application (a social networking application for professionals) was launched by Renren Inc .In November, a mobile advertising platform was launched by Renren named as "Ader Exchange" . 2013: Voice status was launched in January.
4.4 Features and Functions
Social Networking Sites are founded on the concept of joining people's secluded friends/relatives in remote areas. Our world has never consisted of people having similar way of living, norms and beliefs. Every region is different from others that is why each SNS need to consider these differences and design features that can match with the society. Renren features include following:
4.4.1 Profile/ Timeline
Renren has a person profile where users can add their school's information. As renren's main users are students, therefore, Renren has an option for users to select their college, school or university. According to Renren adding college, school or university authenticate user's identity. Currently Renren's confirmation system has 56,000 high schools, 32,000 universities, 85,000 companies (In China) and 1,500 universities (In 29 other countries). Each colleges, universities and companies in renren's confirmation system have their own social networks established by Renren. After user adds any college, university and company in their profile, users are automatically added to the social network of that particular college, university or company that is established by Renren.
Moreover the users can also add their personal information of their choice like putting their contact and work information, favourite music and hobbies, their interest, etc. Additionally, Renren provides their users the functions to edit their background and profile music of their own choice. Renren has a personal profile where users can add their school's information. As Renren's main users are students therefore Renren has an option for users to select their college, school or university. According to Renren adding college, school or university authenticate user's identity. Currently Renren's confirmation system has 56,000 high schools, 32,000 universities, 85,000 companies (In China) and 1,500 universities (In 29 other countries). Each colleges, universities and companies in renren's confirmation system have their own social networks established by Renren.
After user adds any college, university and company in their profile, users are automatically added to the social network of that particular college, university or company that is established by Renren. Moreover the users can also add their personal information of their choice like putting their contact and work information, favourite music and hobbies, their interest etc. Additionally, Renren provides their users the functions to edit their background and profile music of their own choice.
4.4.2 Friends, Blogs, Activities and Notes
Renren's registered can constantly add old or newly-acquainted people to their friend list. users are able to find and make friends of their own choice, after specifying their information in their profiles. They can also affiliate their profiles with the existing groups. Users can also become friends with the Fan pages created by others, becoming friend with fan page is called as "followers". Renren's users express themselves by updating the status and can renew it along with their moods. Users are allowed to write blogs, share others blogs and comment on them. Renren users can also hold activities and invite their friends to join in. Chinese are more expressive as compared to western countries, which caused Renren to launch a unique function called as "NOTES". This function is similar to blogging that facilitates users to write details of their expressions.
4.4.3 Uploading, Sharing and Apps
Users can upload photos or videos and also share videos and photos from external links. Commenting on photos and videos shared by other is also a common practice of Renren's users. Posting comments or messages on friend's shared or uploaded content is a most popular means of interaction for Renren users. Renren allows its users to share information and content from over 2,000 Renren connect partner websites. Renren's open plateform program allows its user to access thousands of applications that are developed by third party developers. The applications include playing online games like Happy Farm, buying friends etc.
4.4.4 Renrenzhuomian and Renrendou
Renrenzhuomian is an instant messaging service.
Renrenzhuomian is a unique feature that not only provides instant messaging but it provides users to view news feeds, write blogs and communicating by replying to friends. The attractive features that differentiate Renrenzhuomian from Renren's website chatting include Widget notification, GIF emoticon, chatting online, invisibly online and batch picture downloading. Renrenzhuomian is downloadable as mobile application on both IOS and Android. The app makes it famous and more preferable by the users than the website, as it is easier and convenient to access anywhere. Renrendou is another attractive feature for Renren users. It is the virtual currency for users that can be used in different parts of the site like gift purchasing, exchanging game coin, advertising and to activate Zedoufuwu (Purple Bean Service). Zedoufuwu is an enhanced service offering users several perks. One Renrendou is equal to one renminbi (RMB).
4.4.5 Background Skins and Music (Points)
Unlike other SNS Renren users can change the profile skin and background music of their own choice. Renren have few styles of skin that is accessible to every user but users can unlock more skins by reaching certain levels. Users can also add music to make it their profile's background music. Renren gives special value to its loyal users by rewarding them with points. The points are gained by logging in frequently, posting and getting more comments and likes from the friends. These points increase the level of users, which creates users interest. Every increased level has its own privilege to the user like getting access to more emotion, background skins and invisible access to see their contacts profile without their knowledge. Users can also get these privileges by becoming VIP's through paying monthly fees.
4.4.6 Watching visitors and Digital Gifts
Renren shows its users the record of number of visitors who visits their timeline. This is a way of encouraging the users to post more content to increase their popularity in terms of increased visitors. This function is another tactic to avoid users to stalk each other. Another attention grabbing feature of Renren is sending digital gifts to their friends. Renren has a gift shopping mall for the users. Users can buy these gifts for their friends (other Renren users) by using Rerendou or paying money. The VIP users can buy additionally unlocked digital gifts.
Facebook the largest social networking site was founded by Harvard student and a keen programmer Mark Zuckerberg, when he accompanied with his roommates launched "thefacebook" on February 4, 2004. Other than Mark Zukerberg Eduardo Saverin, Andrew McCollum, Chris Hughes and Dustin Moskovitz are the founders of Facebook. Facebook dates back to 28 October 2013, when Mark Zuckerberg wrote a program called Facemash that attracted hundreds of Harvard students. Facemash was soon ceased by the administration of Harvard University as it was based on the pictures of students that were being hacked from university's database. Initially Facebook was launched as "the facebook" and was restricted for the Harvard students only. In the first 24 hours of its launching 1,200 students from Harvard signed up, and within one month more than half of the undergraduates joined in. Later it was extended to other Boston universities, IVY Leagues and soon to all the universities of the US.
In 2005, the domain name facebook.com was purchased and company's name was changed from "thefacebook" to "Facebook". From 2006 onwards beyond educational limits Facebook is now able to be registered and accessed by any person in the world who more than 13 years is having a registered e-mail address. The open-to-all Facebook is a worldwide social networking service that provides its registered users a platform where they can create their profile or pages, upload and share photos or videos, update status, play games and many more of its unique features. Headquartered in Menlo Park, California Facebook is having 9,199 employees.
5.1 Users Chronological Statistics
Facebook's users from the beginning were mainly young people, although now the users are including the older adults too. According to pew research center more than a half of the facebook users are abovr 65 years .Facebook has remained the most popular SNS regardless of its growth has become gradual, users engagement level with the platform has undoubtedly increased. The average daily users have surpassed 890 million users in December 2014, from which 745 million users are using Facebook through mobile. 82.4% of these daily active users are outside US and Canada . Figure 2 illustrates the increase in facebook users over the year 2004-2011. This ever increasing number of users is caused due to the new features and continual improvements that keeps on appearing since the beginning of Facebook. Every year has added something new that has intensely attracted people towards registering in Facebook. 2004: Facebook started with the name "the facebook" that was available on thefacebook.com.
Being first year of its launching Facebook hit 1 million users till the end of its first year. In 2004 it was only opened to the universities of US. Facebook received its very first investment by PayPal. 2005: This year brought access for the High-School networks and employees of various companies including Microsoft and Apple to join in. The users in this year jumped from 1 million to 5.5 million. Facebook purchased domain name facebook.com and altered its name by eliminating "the" from it hence making it Facebook. 2006: Facebook empowered its users to share Videos, Photos and blogs from other websites through facebook sharing function. Facebook expanded its network for anyone more than 13-year-old to register using any registered email (including ".com", ".edu", "org", "mil" or "gov". This expansion made an addition in its users making it 12 million and lead to take more privacy concerned steps.
2007: Number of users increased to 50 million. The increase is related to Facebook's Ads launching particularly for business where they are capable of reaching "social graph".
2007 was lauached facebook Mobile, this derived Facebook application developers to widen their applications. Some modifications in Profile, friends, Inbox and networks were made to make a easier access for users. 2008: Facebook Connection was launched that enabled developers and entrepreneurs all around the world to create a more social experience for the users. A real-time communication was lauched that is named as Facebook Chat . The site introduced Spanish, french and German versions of Facebook. This year ended with having 100 million users. 2009: Facebook elevated its privacy by introducing user-friendly tools to its users for personalizing their personal infromation. This year 350 million users were provided with control on each item of their information . 2010: 500 million users became a part of Facebook and PayPal was offered as a means of payment for Facebook advertising and developing systems .
2011: Mobile messenger, subscribe button, timeline (worldwide and for mobile) and Facebook for iPad were introduced that grabbed 845 million users till the end of year. Figure 3 shows the peak years of Facebook's popularity. From the year 2012 and onwards facebook became the first SNS that have Monthly active users in Billions. 2012: Facebook reached to 1.06 billion users in twenty twelve. Facebook launched distinct features that are listed in Figure 4. Going along with introducing unique feaures, Facebook persisted to improve and change its existing features. Facebook improved its picture viewing quality by increasing resolution. Pages, timeline, facebook groups, messages and activity log was updated and given a new look. In may, Mark Zukerberg (CEO and Chairman of Facebook) and Sheryl Sanberg (COO of Facebook) asked the users to mention if they are organ donors to appreciate them. This allowed users to tell the world if they have ever donated organs and what lead them to do it .
Facebook's mission of sharing and connecting became more effective in 2012 as it moved beyond connecting friends and families at one's Leisure. But it connected people in other massive inducemets. Be it a disaster like Sandy Hurricane or collection charity contribution or the US election activity, Facebook has always came up with innovations of connecting people. This year Facebook celebrated the achievement of connecting 1 Billion people. 2013: Figure 4 shows some new features launched by Facebook in 2013. The monthly active users growed to 1.23 Billion. Facebook made some improvements to its timeline and privacy to ease user. Facebook ads and login were updated. Along with Instagram user were able to connect Flicker, Tumblr and Pinterest with Facebook. 2014: Facebook monthly active users became 1.39 Billion at the end of 2014. Facebook enhanced features like watching videos in a different way and providing more faster facebook to Androids and iOS.
2014 brought a more broder span of introducing more features and apps.
5.2 Launch of Features
Facebook, the largest social system is struggling hard to keep on increasing its users globally. This mission is followed by designing and introducing divergent attractive features continuously. Figure 4 shows the main reasons or features that increased the number of users over the years. In US universities its common to have a university's directory(printed or web-based) called as "Face Book". These "Face Book" are accessible to all the students of the university that contains students photographs and names. The basic reason behind issuing a university "Face Book" is to let the students to know each other. Early in 2004 the univerversity's "Face Book" was not allowed by Harvard University. When Mark Zuckerberg launched "the facebook"(that was initially opened to Harvard students only), in just no time Harvard students eagerly adopted it by registering themselves with their @harvard.edu email addresses. In the first year of its launching, Facebook grabbed 1 million users.
After Harvard University within a short period of time Facebook was opened to the other universites of US (which were more than 2,000 at that time). Although universities other than Harvard university were having the traditional "Face Book" but "thefacebook" was still very attractive for them as it does not only had pictures and names but users can put their information related to their likes, address etc. These editable features were quite gratifying that resulted in an absolute increase in the users. Teenagers are ever excited to try out innovations. Next year "thefacebook" opened to the High Schools in US that shooted up its users to 5.5 million. Although internet usage has isolated people in their daily life, yet sharing is of great significance. Since the world is digitalized sharing of digital information like photos, videos, blogs, news or articles is some how hectic to share on the social network one is using. To cope with this issue sharing function was introduced by facebook in 2006.
The FB logo shaped sharing function was available on all the websites that allowed users to share what they want just by clicking that function. This easy-to-use feature hauled in 12 million users. Advertising is the heart of any business. Facebook ads have created an efficacious platform for business entities to create advertises focusing their target markets since 2007. Facebook ads grabbed entrepreneurs attention as it is a proficient mode of knowing the customers and creating adequate advertisements for the targeted customers. More and more businesses turned out to adapt Facebook ads that contributed to an increase in users upto 50 million. Facebook users doubled to 100 milion in 2008. Facebook became multilingual by introducing some languages other than English.
These languages included French, German and Spanish in this way many more people from France, Germany and Spain registered into Facebook. People are more concious about their privacy specially while putting their personal pictures and videos. For giving a more secure social platform Facebook modified its privacy measures for each of the feature in 2009. As privacy became able to be manipulated, niche market who were antagonistic towards SNS due to privacy concerns begin with using Facebook that raised Facebook users up to 350 million. Undoubtedly Facebook ads were followed up by a huge number of buyers and sellers however transactions were still gradual. Safer mode of payment was still a hurdle for a huge number of buyers and sellers. In 2010 Facebook collaborated with PayPal to provide a trusted mode of payment to everyone. Facebook widened its SNS to a transacting hub, which accelerated its users to 500 million.
People on SNS not always prefer to share and communicate within groups, but through private messages. Facebook designed a more portable way of communication by launching mobile messenger for androids and iOS in 2011. This feature engaged 845 million people in using Facebook. Facebook brodened its network users upto 1.06 Billion by welcoming Instagram. Instagram had more than 1 million users in 2012 nd thus these users joined in Facebook through Instagram. Soon in 2013 Facebook introduced verified profiles and pages focusing brands, celebrities, tycoons and other famous personalities, businesses or places. News are the main sources to know the whereabouts of the world. Facebook has been striving to make up a consolidated platform that overlies interests of the world. Recently in 2014 Facebook has launched FB Newswire and Techwire which drew attention of numerous journalists and news-hunters.
Fb Newswire is another beneficial reason that has contributed the increase in Facebook users upto 1.39 Billion last year.
5.3 Facebook Features
5.3.1 Timeline and Home
Facebook timeline is a sophisticated version of traditional profile with additional features. Facebook timeline allows users to tell their stories through pictures, videos, posts, life events/activities and personal interests. Moreover, users can put their contact and personal information, including their work history. Users can decorate their timeline with a cover and profile display picture, update status of what they are doing and share. Users have a complete control over what they want others to see in their timeline. Timeline have a yearly record of users from the beginning to current. The Home feature is a page that appears when users log in to their accounts. Home page mainly carries updates about notifications, messages and friend requests sent. The home page includes:
* News Feed: News Feed carries updated content posted by friends and liked pages/groups/events. Users can personalize what they want to see on their homepage through News Feed.
* Save: Save feature can also be seen in homepage. It is used to save pages, link etc that can be seen later.
5.3.2 Graph Search, Pages and Chat
This feature is a more easier way of searching that retrieves data from within users friends network. Users can search words in the graph search to find out:
* Any posts users have seen in the past (photos, videos etc).
* Search content posted by friends.
* Search people .
Facebook has defined its pages as "tools for organizations, brands and business" . Pages are the publically accessed profiles of brands, organizations, celebrities, business, etc. Pages are used to connect with people, users can get updates by liking and following these pages. Nowadays, pages are being made to promote movies, serials or any products as well. Facebook chat is a desktop-based feature that allows users to communicate with friends individually or in groups. Facebook also has instant messenger for androids, iOS and windows. Facebook messenger allows users to
* Send Text messages.
* Send GIF emoticons.
* Free Voice and Video calls.
5.3.3 Photos/Videos, Groups, News and Events
Photos and videaos are the main feature of any social network.
Facebook users can upload, tag, like and comment on photos and videos. Users are able to create open and closed gropus. It's a special feature where users can share personal posts within the group members. Groups heads like family, ex-students, college, best friends, etc. are commonly seen on Facebook. Events can be use to organize gatherings by innviting and updating friends. Another interesting feature of facebook is Notes which is a blogging feature designed for those who likes to express in detail. Users can write notes regarding their experience, knowledge or to provide information to others.
Users have a full control on their privacy. They can change the privacy for each photo, video or post. Users can also prioritize about what posts they want to see from their friends and liked pages. Moreover, the things which are beyond users control can be altered by reporting it to the Facebook.
6. COMPARING BOTH SNS
Facebook is the world's largest SNS that is being used by almost every country around the world except China, whereas Renren is the biggest SNS of the world's biggest country in terms of population that is China. The United States and China have a clear-cut difference from eating to working thus the social networks are based on cultural preferences of the people. Facebook and Renren can be compared in terms of following respectives.
Main users for Renren are the college students aged between 18-34 years . Renren since it's start has focused on young adults, providing them a platform where they can communicate their thoughts with the same age group. Whereas Facebook never confined the age of users, and contents that are interesting for people belonging to any age are available. The availabity of diversified user generated content has attracted many people regardless of their age. According to CBS news  many teenagers have ceased using facebook because they believe that it is no more a platform where they can express themselves without hesitation due to the presences of their parents and even grandparents.
Beyond all the similarities regarding the outlook between Renren and Facebook, except connecting and communication the vision of both SNSs is considerably different. Renren visualized its network to remain a platform that let users to mainly get entertained in terms of playing games and shopping. Renren started from keeping some perspectives in view that can later cause chaos. Chinese culture is based on collectivism and its ethnic culture is centered on relationships and respect comes first. This is why all kind of sensitive issues are blocked by Renren since the beginning. Facebook's mission on the other hand is to give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected. Bringing connectivity to the world is very advantageous part of Facebook's mission for users and suitable for the company as well in terms of carrying it out in a managed way, but making the world more open is much challenging.
It is widely known that Facebook has remained entirely open nature regarding user-generated contents which has now evoked Facebook to take some amendments concerning the hoaxes and negative contents hitting any religion, state and politics.
Facebook's strategy is to keep on growing its network, for which it continuously toils to introduce something new or make changes in any features established already. Facebook's growing aim has resulted in establishing a mission of providing free internet access to the whole world particularly to the remote areas. While on the contrary Renren is not undergoing any innovations, which has caused a gradual reduction in number of its active users. Renren's little concern towards innovating new and old of its features is such a drawback which has expanded opportunities for other SNSs to grab user's attention.
Except providing a platform for developers, traders and educationists Facebook also made it available to the political groups to target the users by running out election campaigns. Targeting the friends of campaign users has remained advantageous for the political parties until Facebook announced to put certain restrictions on these campaigns. It is said that the restrictions are set due to the privacy concern. But the reason might be the influence on the users that the biggest SNS is supportive towards politics because it is politicized. Consequently Facebook cut itself off of providing leverage to the political parties who had found an easier way of targeting the supporters. Renren being the case that belongs to a state where involving in the political tactics is merely not welcomed as compared to US has never gladly accepted certain political campaigns.
7. GOVERNMENT POLICIES, SNS AND THE USER'S PERPECTIVE
China is renowned for its never-ending gyratory of internet censorship. This circumspection towards conferring internet freedom to the netizens belonging to China has persuaded the Chinese Government to abide the internet user in numerous laws. These laws are becoming more and more sophisticated as the time is passing. Such laws are creating a hindrance for the ruling giant SNS like Facebook to enter the China market. Such that therein China the social networking sites (SNS) lay their strategies agreeing to all the laws set by Chinese government. Chinese government's policy regarding media and networks is underneath an ongoing up gradation of laws relating to the do's and don'ts of cyber culture, which are applied to all the topical and global netizens working within China.
The US on the other hand, have comparatively never set extremely stringent laws concerning the media and networking sites, which have resulted in somehow an inconsiderate expansion in its popularity amongst the users throughout the world except China. The users of Facebook are drastically increasing from overall the world, which is showing the users ultimate satisfaction and attraction towards the SNS. This is because Facebook is at it's on the go of expending efforts that are meeting the user's needs quite well. The government of US too is leaning towards adopting Facebook as means for resolving few hot issues as well as grabbing their voters. Conversely, Chinese users of Renren are expecting more from the SNS. Beyond providing the basics features of sny SNS Renren is less active concerning innovations. This might be because of less interest from the users or the laws implemented by the Chinese government. This is why most of the Renren users are either idle or using it unenthusiastically.
Facebook and Renren are two contradictory SNSs. Because of having many similarities Renren is often referred as "The Facebook of China" by many analysts. Which on the contrary are two entirely different social networking sites covering up two drastically opposite societies. Renren belongs to a country where collectivism is highly welcomed and evrybody value each others respect. Renren was launched by keeping all the chinese social ethics in view. Where users have limitations over posting contents that may affect individuals, communities etc. Renren users are not allowed to mention such terms which created massive chaos in the past. Putting restrictions to certain limits have a benefit of its own, which stray users from getting involved in vulnerable arguments which results in disruption of thoughts. Nowadays SNSs are heavily used by peace antagonists, which is creating huge criticality for SNS to cope with the aftermaths.
Facebook, as being open to the whole world has given leverages to the users to involve in the critical issues, which resulted few states to block Facebook for quite a long time. The world's largest SNS has mostly focused on the aftereffects whereas China's biggest SNS has valued the precautions more. Facebook being passionate for the innovative expansion sometimes triggers to disarray the smooth growing SNS. Renren on the other hand is purely circumspective, due to which it is hurdled in the process of bringing in creativities that would result in a definite increase in its popularity.
 Qiu, L., Lin, H., and Leung, A. K. Y. (2013). Cultural differences and switching of in-group sharing behavior between an American (Facebook) and a Chinese (Renren) social networking site. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 44(1), 106-121.
 Li, L. (2011, May). Social network sites comparison between the united states and China: Case study on facebook and renren network. In Business Management and Electronic Information (BMEI), 2011 International Conference on (Vol. 1, pp. 825-827). IEEE.
 Zhao, C., and Jiang, G. (2011, May). Cultural differences on visual self-presentation through social networking site profile images. In Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (pp. 1129-1132). ACM.
 Internet Live Stats. Retrived from: http://www.internetlivestats.com/internet-users/
 Renren Inc, Corporate Information. Retrived from: http://www.renren-inc.com/en/
 News for Renren. Retrived from: http://www.renren-inc.com/en/info/breakingnews.html
 Pew Research Center. http://www.pewinternet.org/2015/01/09/social-media-update-2014/
 Facebook Newssroom. Company Information. Retrieved from: http://newsroom.fb.com/company-info/
 Facebook. Retrived from: https://www.facebook.com/about/pages
 CBS News. Retrieved from: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/why-more-teens-are-ditching-facebook/
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|Date:||Dec 31, 2016|
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