What Does Social Media Mean?

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In the online world, social media has steadily emerged as an important factor in the lives of billions of people. Social media is a broad term that encompasses many different types of websites and ways to distribute information. Social media involves information being distributed from person to person, instead of only coming from a central media source.

What Social Media Offers

  • When referring to social media, sites in this category share some common characteristics. For example, it requires participation from the general public. It involves an open line of communication and it typically involves a two-way conversation, instead of only a one-way dissemination of information. Most sites in this niche have a very community-oriented feel to them. Most social media allows content to be distributed immediately by users as well.

Types of Social Networks

  • Social networking sites are one type of social media. For example, sites that allow you to create profiles and communicate with a network of people like Facebook and MySpace are considered to be social media sites. Sites which allow you to make random observations and have conversations with others, such as Twitter, would also fit into the category of social media. With all of these types of sites, you can get to know other people and see what they are doing at all times.

Other Social Media

  • Besides social networking sites, many other types of websites could fall into the category of social media. For example, blogs are one kind of social media which involves regular posts by individuals. Wikis are another type of social media that relies on users to update content. Other sites that allow you to upload videos and multimedia content, such as YouTube, are also considered to be social media. Many sites also provide forums and other ways for users to participate.

How Social Media Is Used

  • Social media can be used in many different ways, depending on the type of site being utilized. Many individuals use social media to keep up with friends and family members. It is also a resource you can use to get information besides from a standard news outlet. You can see what is important to the people by looking at trends and other similar tools. Even businesses use social media to promote their products and services in a different way.

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