Open vs Closed Social Networks: Which is better?

Shané Dukes
3 min readJan 11, 2022
Courtsey of Visable Network Labs

When it comes to social media everyone has their favorite platform. Some prefer Facebook while other prefer Twitter. But have you ever thought of why that is? All social networks allow us to connect with friends and family, and even strangers at the touch of a button, so how is it possible to even really have a favorite? Ill tell you how, its because of the closed or openness of each one.

What are closed and open networks you ask, well in simple terms an open network is where you share with everyone and a closed network is one where sharing is limited to only select people. Examples of open models include networks like Tik Tok and Twitter. On these networks content is uploaded and out for everyone to see regardless of who you are or arent friends with. Now there are some exceptions here because you can make your page private but that doesn't effect you ability to see anything from other users. Examples of closed models include networks like Linkedin and Facebook. On these networks more often than not you have to be friends with users to see their content. Again there are some exceptions here as well as you can have a more “open” page but you having an open page doesn't allow you broader access to anyone else's page. So which one is better? How does the open or closeness of a platform cause one to become your favorite? To answer that lets review the pros and cons of each type

Open Network Cons

One con for open networks is people on open networks can share content without your permission. An example of this is when users retweet your content, as they don't need permission to broadcast your message.

Closed Network Cons

A con to closed networks are that it purposefully limits accessibility. An example of this would be a private Facebook group where users have to request access to a page and be approves to participate.

Open Network Pro

A pro to an open network is that anyone anywhere can join and contribute to a conversation. An example of this would be joining a conversation on Twitter for a trending topic using a hashtag.

Closed Network Pro

A pro of a closed network is the same as its con. When you limit accessibility the group becomes more niche fostering deeper more meaningful connections. Using the same example above, a private Facebook group can provide users with a safe space to ask, say or do things they wouldn't normally do because their friends and family can see their timelines.

Maybe Twitter is your favorite platform because you can share ideas open and honestly and connect with users whom you arent strictly connected to. Or maybe you prefer Facebook because you can choose who has access to your inner social world. Either way it goes, there is no “right or wrong” different networks serve different purposes for different reasons. And that's why we are often on multiple!