Social Media is a “build it, nurture it, engage them, and they may come and stay.” — Seth Godin, sethgodin.com.
Social media are interactive computer-mediated technologies that facilitate the creation and sharing of information, ideas, career interests and other forms of expression via virtual communities and networks.The variety of stand-alone and built-in social media services currently available introduces challenges of definition; however, there are some common features(1):
- Social media are interactive Web 2.0 internet-based applications.
- User-generated content, such as text posts or comments, digital photos or videos, and data generated through all online interactions, is the lifeblood of social media.
- Users create service-specific profiles for the website or app that are designed and maintained by the social media organization.
- Social media facilitate the development of online social networks by connecting a user’s profile with those of other individuals or groups.
We can use this definition to identify current categories of social media platforms:
- networking sites, like Facebook and LinkedIn
- social marketplaces, like eBay and Etsy
- media sharing platforms, like YouTube for video; Instagram and Snapchat, for photos; or MixCloud and Last.fm for audio
- blogs, like Blogger and Twitter
- wikis, like Wikipedia and Wikivoyage
- social bookmarking sites, like Pinterest and Pinboard
- social news sites, like Reddit and Slashdot
- instant messaging apps, like Line and WeChat
- online dating services, like Tinder and Match.com.
Based on the definition, the instant messaging app, WhatsApp, would not classify as social media. WhatsApp users do not really create profiles. Obviously, the definition is not very specific, so that there is some room for interpretation. Taking a broad view on the definition, even collaboration tools like Slack would classify as social media.
Some key advantages for individuals include connecting with others and access to content. People can form connections with other people all across the world. They can also use content on the sites for both information and entertainment.
Organisations can benefit through cost savings and timely feedback. Rather than expensive traditional print, radio, or TV ads they can use digital advertising on social media sites. They can also receive direct feedback from customers, who rate and review products online.
Most popular social networks
The following list of the leading social networks shows the number of active users as of July 2018.
|S.No.||Network Name||Number of Users
- Wikipedia contributors. Social media. [cited 2018 Nov 27]; Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Available from: https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Social_media&oldid=870331101
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