In the past 10 years, the internet has been transformed, along with the emergence of interaction and communication technologies. Indeed, there has been an emerging movement in the interaction and communication technologies. More specifically, the growth of Web 2.0 technologies has acted as a catalyst for change in the disciplines of education. The social networking websites have gained popularity in recent years; therefore, many research studies have been conducted to explain how the use of social networking websites for instructional purposes. For the best practices, it is essential to understand theories associated with social networking studies because related theories for any subject may provide insights and guideline for professionals and researchers. This theoretical paper was designed to offer a road map through the literature in relation to the utilization of social networking websites by presenting main understandings of theories associated with social networking. The Uses and Gratification Theory, social network theory, connectives, and constructivism were selected to serve as a basis for designing social networking studies regarding instructional purposes. Moreover, common attributes of the theories and specific application areas were also discussed. This paper contributes to this emerging movement by explaining the role of these theories for researchers and practitioners to find ways to beneficially integrate them into their future research endeavors.
Social Networking Sites, Web 2.0, Uses and Gratification Theory, Social