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The World's Largest Social Network Is…?

I came across an interesting observation the other day, from an unexpected source. And it reminded me of a fundamental concept about online marketing. But, first, a question: What is the world’s largest social network?

Here are some clues: It’s not Facebook. It’s not Twitter. It’s not Google+. Or email or anything else you might typically think.

Give up?

It’s the Internet.

Facebook is part of the Internet, of course, and an incredibly important part, to boot. Same with Twitter and email and probably, for some, Google+.

But the Internet remains the world’s largest social network. Each social service or hot startup that lights up the Interwebs does so for a simple reason:

“We all have this, sort of like, basic, deep need to communicate with other people, so I think that sort of explains the popularity of something like this.”

I didn’t say that. Moby did. In an interview with MTV News. In 1995. When he still had hair.

As the piece notes,

“Despite all the futuristic techno-babble you hear about the Internet, however, most cyber-voyagers log onto it in search of nothing more complicated than other people to talk to and to e-mail.”

MTV turns 30 this week. The Internet, as we know it, is around 25 years old, or, as some wag put it, in its cave painting days. But the need for human connection is timeless.

By the way, here’s the original piece on MTV. Substitute Facebook or Twitter or Google+ or Foursquare or just about any other social network for “the Internet” and see if anything changes:

Hat tip to shortformblog for the video link.

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  1. […] as a whole or only “social media”? Of course, I put social media in quotes because the Internet is the world’s largest social network. Stopping your employees from accessing “social” sites while allowing Internet access […]

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