Social Network Sites

What are Social Networking Sites?

Social networking sites are online communities that allow you to share information about yourself and your program with clients, colleagues, family, and friends. Many social networking sites let you upload photos, videos, create a blog, post events, join groups, and send messages.

There are many different types of social networking sites, many of which are free, and they range from general to those tailored for a specific demographic or interest area. Examples of general social networking sites include Facebook, Exit Disclaimer Google+, Exit Disclaimer and LinkedIn. Exit Disclaimer PatientsLikeMe Exit Disclaimer is an example of a health-related social networking site.

Who is Using Social Networking Sites?

  • 67% of online adults use social networking sites;
  • 40% of cell phone owners use a social networking site on their phone; and
  • 72% of Hispanic, 68% of Black, and 65% of white internet users use social networking sites.1
  • Facebook has one billion active users as of October 2012; and
  • 584 million Facebook users log on to the site daily.2
  • 15% of social network site users have gotten any health information on social networking sites.3

How Can I Use Social Networking Sites in Response to HIV?

  • Connect people around HIV prevention, testing, treatment, and research information.
  • Form support groups for those living with or affected by, HIV/AIDS.
  • Recruit people for HIV-related activities, focus groups, or clinical trials.
  • Find and share information about HIV-related events or activities.

What are Some Examples from the Field?

Where Can I Learn More?


1 Pew Internet & American Life Project, “Social Networking Sites,” Exit Disclaimer Accessed on 4/8/13.

2 Facebook, “Newsroom,” Exit Disclaimer Accessed on 1/14/13.

3 Pew Internet & American Life Project, “The Social Life of Health Information,” Exit Disclaimer Accessed on 1/14/13.

Last revised: 07/01/2013