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A service is generally run by a centralized organization or company, often for a profit. Most website-based media are services. Access to a service is controlled by that organization, who also control configuration and features of the service. When the organizing authority ceases to exist, or chooses to pull the plug, the service dies.

Contrast to federated or peer to peer platforms that persist as long as there are users interested in participating.

Contrast to ad hoc processes that only exist while they are in use and can be instantiated any time they are needed.