Social media

A Facebook page on a mobile phone.

Social media are 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]

  1. Social media are interactive Web 2.0 Internet-based applications. [1] [2]
  2. 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. [1] [2]
  3. Users create service-specific profiles for the website or app that are designed and maintained by the social media organization. [1] [3]
  4. Social media facilitate the development of online social networks by connecting a user's profile with those of other individuals or groups. [1] [3]

Users typically access social media services via web-based technologies on desk top, computers, and laptops, or download services that offer social media functionality to their mobile devices (e.g., smartphones and tablet computers). When engaging with these services, users can create highly interactive platforms through which individuals, communities and organizations can share, co-create, discuss, and modify user-generated content or pre-made content posted online. They introduce substantial and pervasive changes to communication between businesses, organizations, communities and individuals. [4] Social media changes the way individuals and large organizations communicate. These changes are the focus of the emerging fields of technoself studies. Social media differ from paper-based media (e.g., magazines and newspapers) or traditional electronic media such as TV broadcasting in many ways, including quality, [5] reach, frequency, interactivity, usability, immediacy, and permanence. Social media outlets operate in a dialogic transmission system (many sources to many receivers). [6] This is in contrast to traditional media which operates under a monologic transmission model (one source to many receivers), such as a paper newspaper which is delivered to many subscribers, or a radio station which broadcasts the same programs to an entire city. Some of the most popular social media websites are Baidu Tieba, Facebook (and its associated Facebook Messenger), Gab, Google+, MySpace, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Tumblr, Twitter, Viber, VK, WeChat, Weibo, WhatsApp, Wikia, Snapchat and YouTube. These social media websites have more than 100,000,000 registered users.

In America, a survey reported that 84 percent of adolescents in America have a Facebook account. [7] Over 60% of 13 to 17-year-olds have at least one profile on social media, with many spending more than two hours a day on social networking sites. [8] According to Nielsen, Internet users continue to spend more time on social media sites than on any other type of site. At the same time, the total time spent on social media sites in the U.S. across PCs as well as on mobile devices increased by 99 percent to 121 billion minutes in July 2012 compared to 66 billion minutes in July 2011. [9] For content contributors, the benefits of participating in social media have gone beyond simply social sharing to building a reputation and bringing in career opportunities and monetary income. [10]

Observers have noted a range of positive and negative impacts of social media use. Social media can help to improve individuals' sense of connectedness with real or online communities, and social media can be an effective communication (or marketing) tool for corporations, entrepreneurs, nonprofit organizations, including advocacy groups and political parties and governments. At the same time, concerns have been raised about possible links between heavy social media use and depression, and even the issues of cyberbullying, online harassment and " trolling". Currently, about half of young adults have been cyberbullied and of those, 20 percent said that they have been cyberbullied regularly. [11] Another survey was carried out among 7th grade students in America, which is known as the Precaution Process Adoption Model. According to this study, 69 percent of 7th grade students claim to have experienced cyberbullying and they also said that it is worse than face to face bullying. [12] However both the bully and the victim are negatively affected, the intensity, duration and frequency are the three aspects that increase the negative effects on both of them [13]

Definition and classification

The variety of evolving stand-alone and built-in social media services introduces a challenge of definition. [1] The idea that social media are defined by their ability to bring people together has been seen as too broad a definition, as this would suggest that the telegraph and telephone were also social media – not the technologies scholars are intending to describe. [14] The terminology is unclear, with some referring to social media as social networks. [3]

A 2015 paper [1] reviewed the prominent literature in the area and identified four commonalities unique to then-current social media services:

  1. social media are Web 2.0 Internet-based applications, [1] [2]
  2. user-generated content (UGC) is the lifeblood of the social media organism, [1] [2]
  3. users create service-specific profiles for the site or app that are designed and maintained by the social media organization, [1] [3]
  4. social media facilitate the development of online social networks by connecting a user's profile with those of other individuals or groups. [1] [3]

In 2016, Merriam-Webster defined social media as "Forms of electronic communication (such as Web sites) through which people create online communities to share information, ideas, personal messages, etc." [15]

Classification of social media and overview of how important different types of social media (e.g. blogs) are for each of a company's operational functions (e.g. marketing) [16]

The term social media is usually used to describe social networking sites such as:

  1. Facebook – an online social networking site that allows users to create their personal profiles, share photos and videos, and communicate with other users
  2. Twitter – an internet service that allows users to post "tweets" for their followers to see updates in real-time
  3. LinkedIn – a networking website for the business community that allows users to create professional profiles, post resumes, and communicate with other professionals and job-seekers.
  4. Pinterest – an online community that allows users to display photos of items found on the web by "pinning" them and sharing ideas with others. [17]
  5. Snapchat – an app for mobile devices that allows users to send and share photos of themselves doing their daily activities. [18]
  6. Instagram – an app for mobile devices that allows users to send and share videos and photos of themselves doing their daily activities. [19]
  7. WeChat – an app similar to Facebook for mobile devices that allows users to create their personal profiles, share photos and videos, and communicate with users. Primarily used in China. [20]

Social media technologies take many different forms including blogs, business networks, enterprise social networks, forums, microblogs, photo sharing, products/services review, social bookmarking, social gaming, social networks, video sharing, and virtual worlds. [16] The development of social media started off with simple platforms such as sixdegrees.com. [21] Unlike instant messaging clients such as ICQ and AOL's AIM, or chat clients like IRC, iChat or Chat Television, sixdegrees.com was the first online business that was created for real people, using their real names. However, the first social networks were short-lived because their users lost interest. The Social Network Revolution has led to the rise of the networking sites. Research [22] shows that the audience spends 22 percent of their time on social networking sites, thus proving how popular social media platforms have become. This increase is because of the smart phones that are now in the daily lives of most humans. [23]

Other Languages
azərbaycanca: Sosial media
भोजपुरी: सोशल मीडिया
български: Социална медия
Boarisch: Soziale Medien
Deutsch: Social Media
español: Medios sociales
français: Médias sociaux
한국어: 소셜 미디어
Bahasa Indonesia: Media sosial
italiano: Social media
македонски: Друштвени медиуми
Bahasa Melayu: Media sosial
Nederlands: Sociale media
norsk nynorsk: Sosiale medium
português: Mídias sociais
සිංහල: සමාජ ජාල
slovenščina: Družbeni mediji
српски / srpski: Друштвени медији
Türkçe: Sosyal medya
українська: Соціальні медіа