The paper proposes a conversational approach to Social Network Sites on the basis of a historical overview on the status of the conversation as a form of sociability. Following the sociological tradition, the conversation may be understood as a special case of act, event or genre of discourse characterized by the principle of cooperation, equal distribution of the right to speak in turns, spontaneity, informality and a non-utilitarian tone. At the same time, this form of sociability reveals to be a dispositif capable of expressing and/or generating a certain social order, closely related to the structure and the ideal representation of the society in which it is acted. The result is an approach to social networks as technological platforms that enable practices of conversation between users, in which interfaces and affordances contribute significantly to shaping such practices; while affirming a (relative) insignificance of the content of the conversation, there is clearly a strong relational dimension that helps to frame the Social Network Sites as practice of togetherness in form of conversation.
Keywords: Social Network; Conversation; Sociability; Togetherness; Public Sphere.