Social networking among specific type of audiences are gaining momentum in the market, as telecom operators and content providers launch social networking platforms that primarily address user’s very specific needs. Content provider WellFX, for instance, has deployed a secured cloud social platform, which provides patients an avenue to discuss ways on how to manage addiction and chronic conditions such as diabetes. Vodafone Spain and Timpik have launched a social networking app, that links athletes, who can then organise sporting events and share/rent sporting facilities. Several other social networking sites are already functioning since a while, for instance Care2 — developed for the social philanthropists, Dogster/ Catster, for the networking of pet owners; and Untappd, social platform dedicated to beer drinkers.
The deployment of such customised social networking platforms primarily addresses the need for a higher degree of data security and confidentiality of the information shared than what is currently offered by other social networking sites with a more generic audience like Facebook. In the case of WellFX for instance, its cloud social-engagement platform is compliant with Health Insurance Protability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), which allows patients/ users to be anonymous while using the service. It also utilises an https protocol, which prevents patient information from being accessed from a public network or location.