Theoretical Paper

Social Networks Sites as a virtual community – Can SNSs replace the organic communities?

Author: Denisa Andreea Căciulan
University of Sussex, Brighton, United Kingdom

The theory of interactive media argues that people are more likely to attend to a new interactive medium when the persons they know have also adopted it (Hiltz, 1993). Parks suggests the idea that “new users will become active, committed users of SNSs only when they find that a sizable number of their existing contracts are already using it” (Parks, 2011). Arguing about the Facebook users, they become more active and involved to list more people as friends, if their existing friends are using Facebook. For example, this SNS provides numberless of pages that enable sharing the user-generated content by the participants. Like many other SNSs, it brings easy access to diverse people, offers a rich set of options for users to express and address their personal interest and it structures so as to facilitate communication and relational formation among members. Parks claims that “moreover, those who design and market SNSs have emphasized the relational and communal potential of these sites” (Parks, 2011).

Keywords: virtual communities, theory of interactive media, model of online community, communication