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Social Media: Definition & Most Popular Services

By Göde Viktor - January 23, 2018 - tags: social media

Definition and Classification

The variety of evolving stand-alone and built-in social media services introduces a challenge of definition. 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. The terminology is unclear, with some referring to social media as social networks.

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.
  5. Snapchat – an app for mobile devices that allows users to send and share photos of themselves doing their daily activities.
  6. Instagram – an app for mobile devices that allows users to send and share videos and photos of themselves doing their daily activities.
  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.

Most Popular Services

This is a list of the leading social networks based on number of active user accounts as of August 2017.

  1. Facebook: 2,047,000,000 users
  2. YouTube: 1,500,000,000 users
  3. WhatsApp: 1,200,000,000 users
  4. Facebook Messenger: 1,200,000,000 users
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