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Abstract

Social networking applications such as blogs, instant messengers, podcasts, social networking websites (e.g., Renren in China, Vkontakte in Russia, Facebook), professional networking websites (e.g., LinkedIn), Twitter, and virtual worlds (e.g., Second Life) have become increasingly popular in the last few years. Because these applications have substantial implications for users, organizations, and society, social networks (SNs) have gained attention from information systems (IS) researchers and grown steadily as a research area since 2004. However, to organize the accumulated research and encourage researchers to examine new and pressing issues in SNs, available knowledge needs to be synthesized and research gaps need to be addressed (Bandara et al., 2011). Therefore, we systematically reviewed publications about SNs published in major IS journals between January 2004 and August 2013 and, in this paper, overview the state of IS research regarding SNs. We show the evolution of the existing IS research on SNs to build a common nomenclature and taxonomy for this area of research, to identify theories used, and to provide a useful roadmap for future research in this area.

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