The difference between Social Networks and Social Communities | 3 types of SC


In this article, we will carefully revise the difference between Social Networks and Social Communities. What are they, and why are they important?

True community is unfortunately rare in this modern era. We now live our lives more and more as network members. At the core of the rising sentiments of anxiety and loneliness that many people encounter in today’s lifestyle is this shift from community to network life. Never before have we felt so “connected” while also feeling so alone.

Although networks frequently use community terminology, the two social models are not the same. The author of the essay featured in the book Dumbing Us Down, John Gatto, explains the contrasts in great detail and contends that in order to experience “the Good Life” and fully develop as people, we must spend more time in communities and less time in networks.


It is better for networks to be larger. A network’s continued growth can even be essential to its survival. For instance, in order for a platform like Facebook to remain profitable, it must continue to add users despite rising staff costs, server costs, and shareholder demands.

Networks are so big that anonymity is the norm. Members do not connect in person, have no way of knowing if those they communicate with online are who they claim to be, and may not even be aware of other members of the network.

Communities, on the other hand, are naturally constrained in size. Unlike networks, they will perish if they don’t stop expanding. The majority of people can only keep up about 150 meaningful relationships at a time, according to Dunbar’s Number.


In most cases, networks are man-made; they rarely arise naturally. Moreover, they are always created top-down before being governed. The majority of the network’s members have little to no influence on how policies and rules are decided, according to high-ups.

The difference between Social Networks and Social Communities and their types

To better understand the communities we invite you to read along and discover through the paragraphs the 3 main reasons of their creation:

1. Communities of Task

A collection of people who gather together to address a similar issue is known as a task-based community. It has objectives. It is typically created by people who want a predetermined goal, like a learning outcome or solution to a problem, to be attained. 

2. Communities of Vocation

Members of this community focus more on professional connections with specific vocational needs. For instance, professional communities on LinkedIn frequently have quite a “template” feel to them, with defined communication lines and topics for discussion.


Developing a reputation as a credible source is the most difficult aspect of creating an online community. Social media’s currency is credibility, and the most successful platforms have a humble beginnings approach before gradually evolving to its “tipping point.”

3. Communities of Interest

A community of voters with certain interests may be formed as a result of these shared interests or by other links that unite people with similar histories, cultures, racial or ethnic backgrounds, or other affiliations.

Generally speaking, there are three sorts of criteria that pertain to communities of interest: 

a) criteria linked to administrative or geographic boundaries

b) criteria connected to common interests or characteristics

c) criteria tied to patterns of interaction.

All in all a Community of Interest is a cooperative collection of individuals who communicate with one another in order to further their common objectives, passions, missions, or business operations.


When brands don’t have a common goal, they run the risk of developing undesirable behaviors, such as viewing their community as merely an audience or set of users. Which implies that they are not actively involved but rather passive observers.

Creating a common purpose, a common goal can help people define and share their stories with products or services that you offer. Develop social communities where customers may engage with your brand in deep and meaningful ways.

At the end of this article, we can say that the main difference between social networks and social communities is that: while communities nurture the person as a whole being with all its colors, networks tend to fraction them into parts.

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