What Types of Social Networks Exist?

Whether you’re a company or a person, you need to have social media. But to fill them with meaningful content and interact better, it’s important to know what types of social media you’re using. Learn about social media rankings and the type of content for each.Whether you’re a company or a person, you need to have social media. But to fill them with meaningful content and interact better, it’s important to know what types of social media you’re using. Learn about social media rankings and the type of content for each.

In 2021 it is impossible not to have social networks. Social media has become an official identification for individuals and businesses alike. Although it is not enough to have social media profiles, you have to know how to use them to publish the most appropriate type of content for each one. Complying with this will help us to ensure that our content is not ignored and that more people are interested in us. Also, it will help us not to waste time creating accounts on platforms that do not fit our primary needs. Know the types of social networks that exist and decide which ones are best for you.

Horizontal Social Networks

Diverse people who use horizontal social media networks

A common way to classify social networks is by how users relate to them. This type of social network is distinguished by being of free affiliation and access, that is, anyone can create a profile. This is because on these platforms there is not a defined theme, but a variety. Let’s look at some of the sub-classifications of this type of social network.


people having fun uploading photos to social media

In this category are some of the most common social networks, such as Facebook and Twitter. In them, users meet to share personal interests. The content on these platforms is therefore very varied, ranging from the personal to the professional, and in many cases, things are shared or published for mere leisure. They usually allow a variety of media to share, photos, images, text, videos… The idea is that people connect through their interests and interact by sharing or reacting to the content of others.

Precisely because of how varied the content becomes, these types of social networks often have ways to organize. For example, if you think about Facebook there are specific interest groups within the site and a single user can belong to a wide variety, from gardening to video games, all at once. Because of that breadth of possibilities is that this type of social network is attractive for personal profiles: it is nice to be able to share all the variety of interests and nuances of a single person.

Business or freelancer profiles of this type should share about themselves and try to stay relevant for people who may be interested in their area. On the other hand, it is very important to be aware of who shares the content of our profiles or what opinions are being published about us. Why? Well, for example, if we are a vegan products company we can feel very bad about receiving negative reactions. But if we check and see that they come from people who belong to hunting groups, we will see that they are not our target market and rather we should review how to attract the attention of potential customers.

Of Contents

Camera taking video for social media network

This is another kind of common social network. Among the most common content, social networks are YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, Tik Tok, Twitch, among others. They are distinguished because users interact by the content they bring to the community. In turn, as these are horizontal social networks, there is a wide variety of topics being dealt with in these contents and anyone can contribute with content.

Just as specific communities are generated within Facebook, the same happens within content social networks. On platforms like TikTok, users reach out to communities because the algorithm deciphers users' interests. In the case of YouTube, new features have been added to facilitate communication between creators and viewers, such as the so-called «Community Tab», which allows interaction between members of the same community.

On the other hand, Instagram is considered content because originally it was to upload photos. Although it is currently a kind of unofficial CV. A good Instagram account makes the brand’s profile, aesthetics, and area visually clear. In a way, this visual presentation also helps networking. This is also because many of its features are similar to those of Facebook (such as direct messages).

An interesting feature that has been added to several social networks is bookmarking. This is the basic principle of Pinterest, a place to keep your favorite things, make useful collections and have everything organized and at hand. It is such a good tool for content networks that Instagram has already implemented it and Facebook as well.

In content social networks, it is advisable to have something to contribute. The content we upload may come from our website but mainly it must be something valuable. A video showing how to use your product, an extensive tutorial on a topic near your area, photos showing your work, posts to share blog posts… These are all content that goes with these types of social networks.

Vertical Social Networks

people with things in common holding each other

These types of social networks are almost opposite to horizontal ones. They are social networks that do have a specific theme. The main objective is to gather users interested in the same topic. Communities grow with subject-related content and that’s how they attract more users. These are some of their sub-classifications.


Two business women

This type of social network is focused on networking but business. What users of this type of network are looking for is to connect with people who want to close deals with them. One of the best-known social networks of this type is Linkedin, where business-to-business (business to business, b to b) communication is generated. That is, even if people upload personal profiles, the communication is still purely business, it is because they seek to be hired, offer their services, or seek to appear as part of their company.

On these platforms, professional information is often merely shared. Although one does not omit the character of a person in his profile, it is shown as secondary information, it is much more relevant to the professional path of the person, even his aspirations. Therefore, here it is crucial to have a good CV, to be sure that our content is attractive for the type of attention we want to receive. On Facebook, we can have a funny profile photo but in professional social networks, it is convenient to be relaxed while showing formality.

To make connections between your profile (whether business or personal) you have to complete all fields of information clearly and concisely. If possible, make sure to describe our previous experience in a way that fits our area of work. I mean, if you’re into entertainment, you can give yourself the freedom to be a little more fun than if you’re someone in customs logistics.


Fans on a concert

These types of social networks are rather, online fan clubs. They stick very much to the general description of vertical social networks, they are networks that people with a particular interest join and discuss the same issue. In turn, they can share content around this topic that their social network is dealing with.

There are social networks of leisure of all kinds of things. There are some reading like GoodReads or pets like Dogster. Also, some clubs of official fans of artists could be considered a social network of leisure, as they are that of the singer Mika or the k-pop group BTS.

What is difficult about social networks of leisure is the possibility to stay. It is almost always easier to connect with people of the same interest through groups created on social networking or content networks. Therefore, if you are not an idol that attracts the masses, it may not be convenient to have an exclusive social network for you. A page, Facebook group, or subreddit might be more than enough to bring people together to talk about you or your issues.


Typewriter with the word review

Some marketers do classify such pages as social networks. Others are stricter with their parameters and consider them mere review pages. However, they are still pages in which social interactions take place. These are pages like Yelp or TripAdvisor, where people share reviews of sites they’ve visited. That’s where the debate begins because in any case, you could say that the comments section of Booking.com or Trivago is also a social network. But let’s not be too rigid and look at the consequences of reviews.

On the review pages, anyone has the opportunity to leave an opinion or grade something. People usually believe more in other people’s opinions than in any paid promotion. That’s why reviews impact a business as much, for good or bad. This social exchange is relevant for this. So if your business turn is the hotelier or restaurateur you should pay attention to the type of reviews you’re getting and interact in the comments. This kind of social presence will give you more credibility.


Person using social media

Social networks can be classified into two types: horizontal and vertical. Horizontals are distinguished because anyone can make an account and are free subject matter. Social networking and content networks fall into this category. On the other hand, there are the vertical ones, which are characterized by being of a single theme and seek to attract only interested in it. Among its subclassification is professional, leisure, and review social networks.

Distinguishing what types of social networks we are dealing with helps us to interact better with each one. Being aware of what are «the rules of coexistence», we will be able to know what content is relevant to share or how to respond to the interactions we receive.

What types of social media do you use daily? Which one do you think is the most convenient for your professional development? Tell us in the comments.

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