social network

noun
1.
a network of friends, colleagues, and other personal contacts: Strong social networks can encourage healthy behaviors.
2.
Computers.
a.
an online community of people with a common interest who use a website or other technologies to communicate with each other and share information, resources, etc.: a business-oriented social network.
b.
a website or online service that facilitates this communication.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Dictionary.com's 21st Century Lexicon
Main Entry:  social network1
Part of Speech:  n
Definition:  a person's family, neighbors, and friends with whom they are socially involved
Main Entry:  social network2
Part of Speech:  n
Definition:  a website where one connects with those sharing personal or professional interests, place of origin, education at a particular school, etc.
Usage:  computing
Dictionary.com's 21st Century Lexicon
Copyright © 2003-2014 Dictionary.com, LLC
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FOLDOC
Computing Dictionary

social network definition

communications
Any website designed to allow multiple users to publish content themselves. The information may be on any subject and may be for consumption by (potential) friends, mates, employers, employees, etc. The sites typically allow users to create a "profile" describing themselves and to exchange public or private messages and list other users or groups they are connected to in some way. There may be editorial content or the site may be entirely user-driven. Content may include text, images (e.g. (http://flickr.com/)), video (e.g. (http://youtube.com/)) or any other media.
Social networks on the the web are a natural extension of mailing lists and buletin boards. They are related to wikis like (http://wikipedia.org/) but typically do not allow users to modify content once it has been submitted, though usually you can publish comments on others' submissions.
Different sites have different emphasis. For example, (http://friendsreunited.co.uk/) (one of the earliest such sites) focusses on listing former acquaintances; (http://myspace.com/) is music-oriented; (http://linkedin.com/) aims to connect business partners; (http://del.icio.us/), (http://stumbleupon.com/) and (http://digg.com/) are for exchanging links to favouirite web sites. There are many more.
Sometimes the social aspects are a side-effect of bringing together people with shared interests, e.g. (http://slashdot.org/) (IT), other times they become more important than the original purpose, e.g. (http://worldofwarcraft.com/) (fantasy gaming).
(2006-12-05)
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010 http://foldoc.org
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Example sentences
Twitter has officially declared itself to be an information network, not a
  social network.
If the dead presidents were alive today they'd probably start their own social
  network.
It's a cross between a social network and a collaboration space online.
Go to where the people are, beyond your social network.
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