Owned by the tech giant Alphabet (Google), this interest-based social networking platform enables you to stay in touch with people by sharing messages, photos, videos, useful links to sites and so on. It also extends support for video conferencing through Hangouts and allows businesses to promote their brands and products through Google+ business pages.

After being “bugged” by his friends to get Instagram (he had stopped using Facebook aged 16), Johnson joined. He lasted six months. “If you’re having a bad day and scrolling through it, you’re constantly bombarded with pictures of people going to parties. Even if that’s not an accurate portrayal of their lives, that’s what you see. So I stopped using it. It became depressing. It was this competition of who’s the happiest.” He pauses. “Participating in that is not something I’m interested in.”
The transition from a passive web to an interactive web has brought with it many changes affecting how individuals connect with one another and also how businesses operate. At this stage in the game, it's fair to say that a web presence is critical to the success of a business. You can't get ahead if you're ignoring your customer's online conversations or opting to look the other way. Use this opportunity to get closer to your audience than ever before—reach more people in a genuine and authentic manner, drive more qualified site traffic, increase the authority of your brand, engage the people who influence your customers' behavior, and gain the data necessary for insights-based business decisions.
Social media is being used in a range of court cases including employment law, child custody/child support and insurance disability claims. After an Apple employee criticized his employer on Facebook, he was fired. When the former employee sued Apple for unfair dismissal, the court, after seeing the man's Facebook posts, found in favour of Apple, as the man's social media comments breached Apple's policies.[75] After a heterosexual couple broke up, the man posted "violent rap lyrics from a song that talked about fantasies of killing the rapper’s ex-wife" and made threats against him. The court found him guilty and he was sentenced to jail.[76] In a disability claims case, a woman who fell at work claimed that she was permanently injured; the employer used her social media posts of her travels and activities to counter her claims.[77]
Criticisms of social media range from criticisms of the ease of use of specific platforms and their capabilities, disparity of information available, issues with trustworthiness and reliability of information presented,[159] the impact of social media use on an individual's concentration,[160] ownership of media content, and the meaning of interactions created by social media. Although some social media platforms offer users the opportunity to cross-post simultaneously, some social network platforms have been criticized for poor interoperability between platforms, which leads to the creation of information silos, viz. isolated pockets of data contained in one social media platform.[161] However, it is also argued that social media have positive effects such as allowing the democratization of the Internet[162] while also allowing individuals to advertise themselves and form friendships.[50] Others[163] have noted that the term "social" cannot account for technological features of a platform alone, hence the level of sociability should be determined by the actual performances of its users. There has been a dramatic decrease in face-to-face interactions as more and more social media platforms have been introduced with the threat of cyber-bullying and online sexual predators being more prevalent.[164] Social media may expose children to images of alcohol, tobacco, and sexual behaviors[relevant? – discuss].[165] In regards to cyber-bullying, it has been proven that individuals who have no experience with cyber-bullying often have a better well-being than individuals who have been bullied online.[166]
Observers have noted a range of positive and negative impacts of social media use. Social media can help to improve an individual's sense of connectedness with real or online communities, and can be an effective communication (or marketing) tool for corporations, entrepreneurs, nonprofit organizations, advocacy groups, political parties, and governments. At the same time, concerns have been raised about possible links between heavy social media use and depression, and even the issues of cyberbullying, online harassment and "trolling". Currently, about half of young adults have been cyberbullied, and of those, 20% said that they have been cyberbullied regularly.[7] Another survey in the U.S. applied the Precaution Process Adoption Model to cyberbullying on Facebook among 7th grade students. According to this study, 69% of 7th grade students claim to have experienced cyberbullying, and they also said that it was worse than face-to-face bullying.[8] Both the bully and the victim are negatively affected, and the intensity, duration, and frequency of bullying are the three aspects that increase the negative effects on both of them.[9]
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