Social media is a computer-based technology that facilitates the sharing of ideas and information and the building of virtual networks and communities. By design, social media is internet based and offers users easy electronic communication of personal information and other content, such as videos and photos. Users engage with social media via computer, tablet or smartphone via web-based software or web application, often utilizing it for messaging.
A 2014 Pew Research Center survey found that 91% of Americans "agree" or "strongly agree" that people have lost control over how personal information is collected and used by all kinds of entities. Some 80% of social media users said they were concerned about advertisers and businesses accessing the data they share on social media platforms, and 64% said the government should do more to regulate advertisers.[185]
Digital products give influencers the opportunity to create something tangible that they can distribute and sell to their network to earn an income from their knowledge, influence and expertise. Fitness queen Kayla Itsines is a great example of an influencer empire built on digital products and influence, with her downloadable workout program Bikini Body Guide and her newly launched app Sweat With Kayla.
It is not only an issue in the workplace, but an issue in post-secondary school admissions as well. There have been situations where students have been forced to give up their social media passwords to school administrators.[62] There are inadequate laws to protect a student's social media privacy, and organizations such as the ACLU are pushing for more privacy protection, as it is an invasion. They urge students who are pressured to give up their account information to tell the administrators to contact a parent or lawyer before they take the matter any further. Although they are students, they still have the right to keep their password-protected information private.[63]
On the same note, influencers can monetize personal blogs and websites to collaborate and create branded content. Blogs are great because they are in-depth and allow influencers to share more detailed information with their community than is possible over social media, such as detailed product reviews. Not only does blogging help influencers make money from their creative, content writing, photography and distribution platforms, it also benefits brands with click-through links that take consumers directly to products and services, getting them closer to a conversion than a social media post.

But the money making potential doesn’t stop there. There are now sites that work in conjunction with Facebook to help you make money. The “My Merch Store” app through Zazzle is one of those sites. Zazzle will allow you to create and design any product on their site, free of charge. Then, you can pop on to your Facebook and sell it. This will work for anyone who has a design background or who may want to sell products made by other artists, or you can try out Cafe Press and sell things through their online store.
At school, social media can be a brutal barometer of popularity. “If you meet someone new and they ask for your Instagram and you only have 80 followers,” says Sharp, “they’re going to think: ‘You’re not that popular’, but if you have 2,000 followers they’re going to be like: ‘You’re the most popular person in school.’” Sharp quit social media at 13. “I’d rather not know what other people think of me.”
Over the last several years, there has been an explosion of growth in popular social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, YouTube, Pinterest, and many others. It's safe to say that the era of social media is just getting started, and the need for social media in business will only become stronger over time. The whole world has seen the impact of the expansion and adoption of social media tactics, and the rising stats speak for themselves.

The development of social media started off with simple platforms such as sixdegrees.com.[20] 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. The first social networks were short-lived, however, because their users lost interest. The Social Network Revolution has led to the rise of the networking sites. Research[21] shows that the audience spends 22% of their time on social networks, thus proving how popular social media platforms have become. This increase is because of the widespread daily use of smartphones.[22] Social media are used to document memories, learn about and explore things, advertise oneself and form friendships as well as the growth of ideas from the creation of blogs, podcasts, videos and gaming sites.[23] Networked individuals create, edit, and manage content in collaboration with other networked individuals. This way they contribute in expanding knowledge. Wikis are examples of collaborative content creation.
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