Social media have undergone numerous recent transformations while their use has soared. According to a recent study, 25.7 million people (about half of the country’s population) visited a social network site (such as Cyworld, Facebook or Twitter) last July, compared to 16 million a year before that. Korea thus ranks second behind Russia in terms of the increasing trend of social network use growth in the world. More than 25% of the Korean population has a Cyworld account (a local social network) and nearly 90% of young people in their 20s have one. This shows the importance that these networks hold in the lives of Koreans.
Cyworld is a social network site that resembles other networks such as Facebook and Myspace. Launched in 1999, it has several services that resemble the functions of other networks, but offers a distinctive element: each user has a personal page that can be “furnished” as the user wants. Me2day, which is similar to Twitter, was set up by the search engine Naver that has experienced great success in Korea, despite the supremacy of Google. Many Korean social networks have options that resemble those on Western networks.