Nowadays, we often hear about a term called Social Media. Most of your friends might already be on some kind of social media platform. Whether it is for conversation with friends or sharing their photos, social media are very common these days. But what really is social media? What is social media used for? Is it any good for people? Well, these are some of the questions we are going to answer in this article and see how social media impact our lives.
What is Social Media?
Social media are (computer-mediated) technologies that we primarily use for sharing and creating some kind of ideas, business, or any other multimedia like pictures or videos. The answer to the second question is, well…a bit complicated. Social media can be very useful if used moderately, but if overdone, it surely isn’t good.
However, we leave the answer to the aforementioned question to you as you are probably using one of the social media websites. One of the most important Social Media websites is Facebook, and when it launched, it gained huge popularity in a short time. As technology progressed, users can now use Social Media on their smartphones and tablets, making it a very important aspect of today’s life. Aside from sharing content on these websites, the user can also learn something from various people and official pages, and this is actually a good way of using social media.
Examples of Social Media
As we explained the basics of social media functioning, it’s time to mention some of the most important social media websites.
When talking about social media, Facebook is the most important website. Facebook was created back in 2004 by famous computer programmer Mack Zuckerberg. Their headquarters are located in California, and currently, there are around 1.95 billion users active, which is an impressive number. So how is Facebook functioning?
For the beginning, the user needs to have an email, so he can use it for making a profile. When making a profile, the user is required to enter a full name, date of birth, and other optional factors. Upon making a profile, the user is introduced to the world of Facebook where he can add friends, post photos of himself, post videos, statuses, and much more.
Facebook is limited to 5000 friends per profile, and while many see this as a limitation, people often use it for adding friends that they know in real life, or for advertising a product or business idea. On top of that, when creating an account on other websites or social media (which we will mention soon), users can use an option to log in with a Facebook account, which made the job of account creation much easier, if you have a Facebook account.
On Facebook, users can also create various group chats or chat with their friends, create an open or closed group where they can post various multimedia, or simply chat with each other. As Facebook is updating very often, there is a possibility to start a video or voice call, making it a great alternative to Skype.
YouTube is an American video-sharing website, available for registered and unregistered users. On this website, users can upload their own videos and watch the uploaded videos by other users. However, there are some limits here in terms of video content, as the users aren’t allowed to post videos that contain extreme violence or porn.
Aside from that, users are allowed to comment on videos and share them on the social media website they want, like Facebook or Twitter. YouTube, however, isn’t connected to Facebook, so the users can’t make their account using this service. As YouTube is now Google’s product, users can sign up for this website using their Google email address.
Instagram is a social media app developed for smartphones and later for desktops, back in 2010. Its main focus is on sharing photos and, recently – sharing videos. It sounds simple, but it’s a very popular social media application that now counts about 600,000,000 users worldwide. In the beginning, Instagram was developed for iOS, and two years later it was ported to Android, so now every smartphone, tablet, or Windows user can access it.
When creating an Instagram profile, the user can interact with a Facebook account and connect them together. Pictures or videos posted on Instagram can be shared on Facebook using this feature. Instagram is a great social media app that is a somewhat simplified version of Facebook.
Twitter is an online social networking service that is used for posting “tweets.” Tweets are something like messages and are restricted to 140 characters. Users that are registered can post and read Tweets, and those unregistered can just read them. It was developed back in 2006 but wasn’t quite popular until a few years later. Now, Twitter has around 320,000,000 active users including actors, singers, politicians, etc. On Twitter, users can also read the news and inform themselves about happenings in the world. However, its popularity is now surpassed by Facebook and Instagram.
Facebook Messenger is an instant messaging service that is closely tied to Facebook. By using Facebook Messenger, users can see and reply to messages much easier, and by 2016, Facebook Messenger became the staple of smartphone messaging as users can now chat via Facebook Messenger only when speaking about Facebook.
This app is now updated, and users can create group chats, change the color of the GUI and use various emojis or send GIFs. If you use Facebook on a smartphone, Facebook Messenger is something you must use for chatting, so it’s not surprising that this app has 1,000,000,000 active users.
No matter which social media app or website we are talking about, social media are really a very important factor that makes our communication much easier. Today, there are many social media apps, and some of them aren’t on this list, which doesn’t make them bad in any way. Feel free to try some of them like Viber, WhatsApp, Skype, or Snapchat, aside from these popular social media apps. Remember, social media serve as a way of having fun, entertaining yourself, or simply for education or reading news. They aren’t a substitute for real-life social activities!
FAQs About Social Media
Social media platforms typically come with features such as the ability to create a personal profile, connect with friends or followers, send messages, share and comment on posts, and join groups.
Businesses can take advantage of social media in various ways. Some of them include reaching their target audience, engaging with customers, increasing brand visibility, advertising products or services, and gaining valuable insights.
There are a lot of privacy concerns about using social media. Especially because of the recent issues that have been surfacing all over the internet. Social media privacy is something that you should put research into and take care of.