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By Anshula Garg
MA(journalism & Mass Communication)
It referred to as a virtual community or profile
site, a social network
Website that brings people together to talk,
share ideas and interests, or make new
friends. This type of collaboration and sharing
of data is often referred to as social media.
Unlike traditional media that is often created
by no more than 10 people, social media sites
contain content that has been created by
hundreds or even millions of different people.
Conversation Supported by online tools.
Collective of online communications channels
dedicated to community-based input, interaction,
content-sharing and collaboration.
Many relatively inexpensive and widely accessible
electronic tools that enable anyone to publish and
access information, collaborate on a common
effort, or build relationships.
In Web 2.0 terms, this would be a website that
doesn't just give you information, but interacts
with you while giving you that information.
This interaction can be as simple as asking for
your comments or letting you vote on an article.
Perhaps the simplest of all social media platforms, Twitter also just happens to be one of the
most fun and interesting. Messages are limited to 140 characters or less, but that’s more than
enough to post a link, share an image, or even trade thoughts with your favorite celebrity or
influencer. Twitter’s interface is easy to learn and use, and setting up a new profile only takes
Considered to be synonymous with “social media” by some, Facebook is the one site where
you’re likely to find friends, colleagues, and relatives all floating around.
Although Facebook is mainly centered around sharing photos, links, and quick thoughts of a
personal nature, individuals can also show their support to brands or organizations by
One of the only mainstream social media sites that’s actually geared towards business, LinkedIn
is to cyberspace what networking groups once were to local business communities. It’s great
for meeting customers, getting in touch with vendors, recruiting new employees, and keeping
up with the latest in business or industry news. If it matters to your company or career, you can
probably do it on LinkedIn.
Another professional networking and recruitment site, Xing has the global
presence and focus that LinkedIn lacks. Although it can be mistaken for a job
search portal, the site actually has a number of features and communities that
make it easy to develop relationships with suppliers, colleagues and even
thought leaders within industry.
Literally translating into “everyone’s website,” Renren is China’s largest
social platform. Hugely popular with the younger crowd, it works in a
way similar to Facebook, allowing users to share quick thoughts, update
their moods, connect with others, and add posts or ideas to a blog-like
Social media’s big up-and-comer has really arrived over the past few years. By combining the
best of Facebook and Twitter into one site – and backing it by the power of the world’s largest
search engine, Google has given users a social site that has a little something for everyone.
You can add new content, highlight topics with hashtags, and even separate contacts into
circles. And, a G+ profile only takes a few minutes to get set up.
Disqus isn’t actually a social media platform so much as a social engagement
platform, but it can definitely help you improve your social engagement. As a
tool for commenting, managing feedback on your own website (or other Disqus-
enabled websites), and managing spam/troll type messages, it’s invaluable.
Advanced features allow for social monitoring and upvoting.
This surprisingly-addictive app gives you the ability to take a picture, add art
and text if you’d like, and then send it to recipients for a set amount of time
(after which the photo will delete itself and be removed from the company’s
servers). Lots of fun, and potentially a good way to stay in touch with friends.
Serving as a giant virtual idea and inspiration board, Pinterest has made a
huge impact on social media in the last few years. Especially popular with
women and the do-it-yourself crowd, it lets you share pictures, creative
thoughts, or (especially) before-and-after pictures of projects that others
can pin, save, or duplicate.
This Belgian social network site is geared for the 25 and under crowd all
over the world. Alongside normal social features like posts, updates, and
photo sharing, it also boasts online games and chat features that make it
popular with younger users who want to stay entertained while connecting
with each other.
Created as a Muslim alternative to Facebook (it was previously called
MillatFacebook), this site aims to connect the faith’s 1.5+ billion followers into a
single social platform. While that might sound ambitious, it’s growing quickly
and offers many of the same post, update, and sharing features as the original
Facebook, and is already immensely popular in some parts of the world.
This platform is different form many others in that it essentially hosts micro
blogs for its users. Individuals and companies, in turn, can fill their blogs with
multimedia (like images and short video clips). The fast-paced nature of Tumblr
makes it ideal for memes, GIF’s, and other forms of fun or viral content.
If you’ve ever wished that social engagement could come with an ongoing, up-
to-date “how to” manual written by the experts, Medium might be just what
you’re looking for. With lots of helpful advice, tips, and articles, it can give you
everything you need to start connecting like a pro.
As a video sharing service, YouTube has become so popular that its catalog of billions and
billions of videos has become known as “the world’s second-largest search engine” in some
circles. The site has everything from first-person product reviews to promotional clips and
“how-two” instruction on virtually any topic or discipline. Users have the ability to share, rate,
and comment on what they see.
This site (also available as an app) offers users the chance to share and view
brief video clips. While that theoretically offers a virtually endless range of
uses, most of Vine’s content is entertainment-focused, with a heavy
preference towards “viral” and “meme” clips that are easy to share.
Promoting itself as Europe’s largest social media site, vk.com is essentially the
Russian version of Facebook, with the same kinds of profiles, messaging, and games
you would expect. Like Facebook, vk.com allows users to enter both personal and
professional information about themselves, and to follow or show support for
organizations and businesses.
Meetup is a perfectly-named platform, because it’s perfect for organizing
local groups around specific interests. There are meetups centered on just
about everything, from music to hobbies, and get-togethers are almost
always open to newcomers. That makes it perfect for exploring an interest
and making new friends at the same time.
It is a social news website and forum where stories are socially curated and
promoted by site members. The site is composed of hundreds of sub-communities,
known as "subreddits." Each subreddit has a specific topic such as technology,
politics or music. Reddit site members, also known as, "redditors," submit content
which is then voted upon by other members. The goal is to send well-regarded
stories to the top of the site's main thread page.
Another very popular community of Internet users who vote
for web pages they like and dislike and allows users to create
their own personal page of interesting sites they come
One of the most popular social networks and one of
the most viewed website on the Internet.
One of the largest and most used websites that brings
together and allows people who graduated from high school
and allows you to keep in touch with them and any future
It is a free, open content online encyclopedia created through the
collaborative effort of a community of users known as Wikipedians.
Anyone registered on the site can create an article for publication;
registration is not required to edit articles. Wikipedia was founded in
January of 2001.
The WhatsApp concept is simple: send text-
style messages to anyone else using the
platform, but without paying data charges.
That straightforward idea has already
gathered more than 700 million fans, making
the app the world’s most popular messaging
There’s less scope for socialising here, but
you can upload and share any pictures you
want others to see. You can also download
and sometimes use pictures on websites, as
many people put them up with few copyright
If you’re looking for a quick, convenient
connection between the camera feature on
your smart phone and all your social profiles,
then Instagram is the answer. Not only will
allow you to share via Twitter, Facebook, and
the Instagram website, you can choose from
a variety of photo filters and invite friends to
comment on your photos or ideas.
A popular social networking site
where users can share photo's,
stories, their journal, and more
with friends and family privately or
publicly on the Internet.
This might be the best social media app
most people haven’t tried. The premise is
simple: join into a group of friends (or create
your own), and then share an anonymous
message. It’s great for fun interactions, idea
starters, or just finally getting something off
A popular social network that
brings together friends, family, and
allows you to meet new people who
share similar interests to you from
all over the world.
Smartphone social network that
connects users who are in close to
A mobile only social network that
allows you to keep in contact with
your closest friends and family.
110,000,000 users. Tumblr, like Twitter, is a
: 42,000,000 users. Vine is primarily a video
Social Bookmarking. (Del.icio.us, Blinklist, Simpy) Interact by
tagging websites and searching through websites bookmarked
by other people.
Social News. (Digg, Propeller, Reddit) Interact by voting for
articles and commenting on them.
Social Networking. (Facebook, Hi5, Last.FM) Interact by adding
friends, commenting on profiles, joining groups and having
Social Photo and Video Sharing. (YouTube, Flickr) Interact by
sharing photos or videos and commenting on user submissions.
Wikis. (Wikipedia, Wikia) Interact by adding articles and editing
And these websites are not the only social media websites. Any
website that invites you to interact with the site and with other
visitors falls into the definition of social media.
User accounts: If a site allows visitors to create their own
accounts that they can log into, then that's a good sign there's
going to be social interaction. You can't really share information
or interact with others online without doing it through a user
Profile pages: Since social media is all about communication, a
profile page is often necessary to represent an individual. It often
includes information about the individual user, like a profile
photo, bio, website, feed of recent posts, recommendations,
recent activity and more.
Friends, followers, groups, hashtags and so on: Individuals use
their accounts to connect with other users. They can also use
them to subscribe to certain forms of information.
News feeds: When users connect with other users on social
media, they're basically saying, "I want to get information from
these people." That information is updated for them in real-
time via their news feed.
Personalization: Social media sites usually give users the flexibility to
configure their user settings, customize their profiles to look a specific
way, organize their friends or followers, manage the information they
see in their news feeds and even give feedback on what they do or don't
want to see.
Notifications: Any site or app that notifies users about specific
information is definitely playing the social media game. Users have total
control over these notifications and can choose to receive the types of
notifications that they want.
Information updating, saving or posting: If a site or an app allows you to
post absolutely anything, with or without a user account, then it's social!
It could be a simple text-based message, a photo upload, a YouTube
video, a link to an article or anything else.
Like buttons and comment sections: Two of the most common ways we
interact on social media are via buttons that represent a "like"
plus comment sections where we can share our thoughts.
Review, rating or voting systems: Besides liking and commenting, lots of
social media sites and apps rely on the collective effort of the
community to review, rate and vote on information that they know about
or have used. Think of your favorite shopping sites ormovie review
sites that use this social media feature.
It is easy to confuse social media with social
news because we often refer to members of the
news as "the media.“
Adding to the confusion is the fact that a social
news site is also a social media site because it
falls into that broader category.
But social news is not the same thing as social
media anymore than a banana is the same thing
A banana is a type of fruit, but fruit can also be
grapes, strawberries, or lemons.
And while social news is social media, social
networking and wikis are also social media.
Offer a variety of opportunities for companies in a wide
range of business sectors, economic-sector mobile social-
media makes use of the location- and time-sensitivity
aspects of social media in order to engage in marketing
research, communication, sales promotions/discounts, and
relationship development/loyalty programs.
Social media are used to document memories, learn about
and explore things, advertise oneself and form friendships.
For instance, they claim that the communication through
internet based services can be done more privately than in
E-Commerce: Mobile social-media applications such
as Amazon.com and Pinterest have started to influence an
upward trend in the popularity and accessibility of e-
commerce, or online purchases
Content in social media sites is the fact that the
distribution of quality has high variance: from very
high-quality items to low-quality
Social media technologies provide scale and are
capable of reaching a global audience.
Social media tools are generally available to the
public at little or no cost.
Anyone with access can operate the means of
social media production.
Social media is capable of virtually instantaneous
Social media can be altered almost
instantaneously by comments or editing.
Identity: This block represents the extent to which users reveal
their identities in a social media setting. This can include
disclosing information such as name, age, gender, profession,
location, and also information that portrays users in certain
Conversations: This block represents the extent to which
users communicate with other users in a social media setting.
Many social media sites are designed primarily to facilitate
conversations among individuals and groups. These
conversations happen for all sorts of reasons. People tweet,
blog, et cetera to meet new like-minded people, to ﬁnd true
love, to build their self-esteem, or to be on the cutting edge of
new ideas or trending topics.
Sharing: This block represents the extent to which users
exchange, distribute, and receive content.
Presence: This block represents the extent to which users
can know if other users are accessible. It includes knowing
where others are, in the virtual world and/or in the real
world, and whether they are available.
Relationships: This block represents the extent to which
users can be related to other users. Two or more users
have some form of association that leads them to converse,
share objects of sociality, meet up, or simply just list each
other as a friend or fan.
Reputation: This block represents the extent to which users
can identify the standing of others, including themselves,
in a social media setting
Groups: This block represents the extent to which users
can form communities and sub communities. The more
‘social’ a network becomes, the bigger the group of
friends, followers, and contacts
Building social authority- One of the foundational
concepts in social media has become that you
cannot completely control your message through
social media but rather you can simply begin to
participate in the "conversation" expecting that
you can achieve a significant influence in that
Virality :-Some social media sites have
greater virality – defined as a greater likelihood
that users will reshare content posted (by another
user) to their social network. Many social media
sites provide specific functionality to help users
reshare content – for example, Twitter's retweet
button, Pinterest pin or Tumblr's reblog function.
According to CNN, in 2010 75% of people got their
news forwarded through e-mail or social media posts,
whereas 37% of people shared a news item via
Facebook or Twitter.
The popularity of getting political news from social
media platforms is greatly increasing. A 2014 study
showed that 62% of web users turn to Facebook to
find political news.
Social media can be used to create political change,
both major and minor. For example, in 2011 Egyptians
used Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube as a means to
communicate and organize demonstrations and rallies
to overthrow President Hosni Mubarak.
Twitter promotes social connections among students. It
can be used to enhance communication building and
critical thinking. A popular component and feature of
Twitter is retweeting. Twitter allows other people to keep
up with important events, stay connected with their peers,
and can contribute in various ways throughout social
Facebook represents a potentially useful tool in
educational contexts. It allows for both an asynchronous
and synchronous, open dialogue via a familiar and
regularly accessed medium, and supports the integration
of multimodal content such as student-created
photographs and video and URLs to other texts, in a
platform that many students are already familiar with.
YouTube is the most frequently used social
media tool in the classroom. Students can watch
videos, answer questions, and discuss content.
There are over 39 million students and recent
college graduates on LinkedIn, becoming the
fastest-growing demographic on the site. There
are many ways that LinkedIn can be used in the
classroom. First and foremost, using LinkedIn in
the classroom encourages students to have a
professional online social presence and can help
them become comfortable in searching for a job
Social media has affected the way the youth
generations communicate. The introduction of
social media has brought forth various forms of
Abbreviations have been introduced to cut down
on time. The commonly known “LOL” has become
globally recognized as the abbreviation for “laugh
out loud” thanks to social media.
Online linguistics has changed the way youth
communicate and will continue to do so in the
Social media analytics is the practice of gathering data from blogs
and social media websites and analyzing that data to make business
Social media marketing (SMM) takes advantage of social networking
to help a company increase brand exposure and broaden customer
One of the key components of SMM is social media optimization
(SMO). Like search engine optimization (SEO), SMO is a strategy for
drawing new and unique visitors to a website.
SMO can be done two ways: by adding social media links to content
such as RSS feeds and sharing buttons, or by promoting activity
through social media via status updates, tweets, or blog posts.
Social CRM (customer relationship marketing) can be a very powerful
business tool. For example, establishing a Facebook page allows
people who like your brand and the way you conduct business
to Like your page, which
Creates a venue for communication, marketing and networking.
Through social media sites, you can follow conversations about your
brand for real-time market data and feedback.
From the customer’s perspective, social media makes it easy to
tell a company and everyone else about their experiences with
that company -- whether those experiences are good or bad.
Enterprise social networking allows a company to connect
individuals who share similar business interests or activities.
Internally, social tools can help employees access information
and resources they need to work together effectively and solve
Externally, public social media platforms help an organization
stay close to their customers and make it easier to conduct
research that they can use to improve business processes and
Social media is also often used for crowdsourcing. Customers
can use social networking sites to offer ideas for future
products or tweaks to current ones.
On the other hand, the integration of social media in the
business world can also pose challenges.
Sometimes abusive content is presented.
A dramatic decrease in face-to-face interactions as more and
more social media platforms have been introduced with the
threat of cyber-bullying and online sexual predators being
Social media may expose children to images of
alcohol, tobacco, and sexual behaviors.
In regards to cyber-bullying, it has been proven that individuals
who have no experience with cyber-bullying often have a better
well-being than individuals who have been bullied online.
Twitter is increasingly a target of heavy activity of marketers.
Their actions, focused on gaining massive numbers of
followers, include use of advanced scripts and manipulation
techniques that distort the prime idea of social media by
abusing human trustfulness.
Twitter also promotes social connections among students. It
can be used to enhance communication .
Disparity--The digital divide is a measure of disparity in the level of
access to technology between households, socioeconomic levels or
other demographic categories. Other models argue that within a
modern information society, some individuals produce Internet
content while others only consume it, which could be a result of
disparities in the education system where only some teachers
integrate technology into the classroom and teach critical thinking.
Trustworthiness--Because large-scale collaborative co-creation is
one of the main ways of forming information in the social network,
the user generated content is sometimes viewed with skepticism;
readers do not trust it as a reliable source of information.
Privacy- -Privacy rights advocates warn users about uses for the
information that can be gathered through social media. Some
information is captured without the user's knowledge or consent,
such as through electronic tracking and third party application on
social networks. Others include law enforcement and governmental
use of this information, including the gathering of so-called social
media intelligence through data mining techniques.
Data suggest that participants use social media to fulfill perceived social
needs, but are typically disappointed. Lonely individuals are drawn to the
Internet for emotional support. This could interfere with “real life
socializing” by reducing face-to-face relationships.
Studies also show that social media have negative effects on peoples’ self-
esteem and self-worth. The authors of "Who Compares and Despairs? The
Effect of Social Comparison Orientation on Social Media Use and its
Outcomes found that people with a higher social comparison orientation
appear to use social media more heavily than people with low social
Employment impact---Use of social media by young people has caused
significant problems for some people when they entered the job market. A
survey of 17,000 young people in six countries in 2013 found that 1 in 10
people aged 16 to 34 have been rejected for a job because of online
comments. A 2014 survey of recruiters found that 93% of them check
candidates' social media postings