Social Media Definition

Reviewed by Anjaneyulu | Updated on Aug 27, 2020

Introduction

Social media is an interactive computer-mediated technology which facilitates knowledge, ideas, career interests, and other forms of expression through virtual communities and networks to be created or shared.

Users typically access social media services through web-based apps on desktops and laptops or download services that provide their mobile devices (e.g., smartphones and tablets) with social media functionality.

As users engage with these electronic services, they create highly interactive forums through which individuals, groups, and organizations can share, co-develop, discuss, participate, and change online posted content that is created by users or self-curated.

Types of Social Media

Social networking sites, such as Facebook, represent only one of the various types of social media platforms. We can find at least seven different types of social media:

  • Social networking sites
  • Social review sites
  • Image sharing sites
  • Video hosting sites
  • Community blogs
  • Discussion sites
  • Sharing economy networks

Features of Social Media

The following are some common features for social media:

  • Social media are interactive Web 2.0 based apps.

  • The lifeblood of social media is user-generated content, such as text messages or comments, visual images or videos, and data created from all online interactions.

  • Users create specific profiles and identities for the website or app which the social media agency designs and maintains.

  • Social media promotes the creation of social networks online by linking the profile of a user to that of other individuals or groups.

Mobile Social Media

Mobile social media refers to the use of social media on handheld devices, such as tablet computers and smartphones. Mobile social media is a useful application of mobile marketing because the creation, exchange, and circulation of user-generated content can help companies develop marketing research, communication, and relationships.

Mobile social media are different from others because they incorporate the user's current location (location-sensitivity) or the time delay between sending and receiving.

Examples

With over 100 million registered users, some of the most popular social networking platforms include Facebook (and its related Facebook messenger), YouTube, WeChat, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, Telegram, LinkedIn, WhatsApp, Snapchat, Pinterest, Viber, VK, Reddit, Discord and more.