Analysis of Success Factors in Social Networking Website Development

Analysis of Success Factors in Social Networking Website Development

Zanita Zahari (La Trobe University, Australia) and Eric Pardede (La Trobe University, Australia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61350-444-4.ch006
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The popularity and rapid growth of social networking sites is undeniable. However, it is hard to guarantee the success and sustainability of these sites. This study will focus on identifying the key success factors for each phase in agile iteration development for social networks. A qualitative and quantitative analysis was adopted using web analytical tools to gather and measure these success factors. A comparative study between popular and unpopular social networking was undertaken to gather realistic data. Results reveal that determinants of success for agile development phases include: goal setting, developing brand image, quality content, trust building, user-centered design, technology and client server platform, service quality, user satisfaction and stability. The successful implementation of these factors will benefit developers and users in order to achieve the success and survival of the social networking website development.
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People of all ages and backgrounds use social networking to enrich their lives through the contacts they make on social networking sites. Three of the most popular social websites are Facebook, Youtube and Wikipedia (The Nielsen Company, 2010). In addition, different social networking sites emphasize different aspects of human interaction (Weaver and Morrison 2008). Social networking sites allow users to set up online profiles and develop their online social network. The profile page contains personal information, such as interests, activities and contact information. Moreover, some social network sites allow users to design the appearance of their page and upload photos and videos. When users sign up for social network sites, they are able to socialize and build a network of connections to friends. Being affiliated with a network also allows the users connect to each other, share content and disseminate information. There are many applications and types of content that can be used on social networking sites.

The history of social networking began with the launch of Six Degrees in 1997 with basic features such as being able to create profiles, list and search for friends and send messages (Boyd and Ellison, 2010). Several other major social networking sites, namely Live Journal, Asia Avenue, Black Planet, LunarStorm, MiGente and Cyworld, followed this, which supported various combinations of profiles and friends from 1997 to 2001. Social networking sites expanded from personal to business networks when was launched in 2001. In 2002, the launch of Friendster resulted in social networking hitting its stride, boasting more than three million users a year later. LinkedIn, networking resources for business people and MySpace were introduced a year later in 2003. Facebook was launched in 2004 as a Harvard project for two years before opening to the public in 2006, and now leads all other social networking sites.

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