The very first social networking site was Classmates.com, formed all the way back in 1995.  Today, there are hundreds of social networking sites – each with their own target community and each with their own unique purpose.

One of the reasons for the growth of social media is the notion that we trust each other more than we trust businesses interested in their own self promotion.  Social networking sites enable us to find good, reliable information generated by others.

According to eMarketer, U.S. ad spending on social media will hit $900 million in 2007, up from $350 million last year.  By 2007, it’s expected to reach 2.7 billion.

Different Types of Social Networking Sites:
Sites like del.icio.us and Digg allow users to share information about the websites they like most, so if you want to find cool new websites that you may not know about, give these social networking sites a try.

Sites like MySpace are more for social purposes.  They connect like minded users with similar interests (mostly teenagers and young people that like music and chatting online).

Sites like LinkedIn allow users to share their network of friends and business associates (mostly business people sharing business connections).

To sign up for some of the most popular social networking sites, check out these links:

For a complete list of social networking sites, check out Wikipedia.