"Social media" is a way for people to communicate and interact online. While it has been around since the dawn of the World Wide Web, in the last 10 years or so we've seen a surge in both the number and popularity of social media sites. It's called social media because users engage with (and around) it in a social context, which can include conversations, commentary, and other user-generated annotations and engagement interactions.
They certainly overlap, which is why it gets confusing. For example, you can share media with your social network to gather likes and comments — a form of social networking. But you can also just upvote a link on Reddit, which is a social media platform, to help out the community and give your say in the matter without any intention of building relationships with other users. 

There has been rapid growth in the number of US patent applications that cover new technologies related to social media, and the number of them that are published has been growing rapidly over the past five years. There are now over 2000 published patent applications.[39] As many as 7000 applications may be currently on file including those that haven't been published yet. Only slightly over 100 of these applications have issued as patents, however, largely due to the multi-year backlog in examination of business method patents, patents which outline and claim new methods of doing business.[40]


Identifying potential advocates is a good first step. You can use social tools (many of which are outlined in the rest of this guide), site data, customer data, and even your own observations to help you pick out which customers are likely to go to bat for your brand. You'll want to figure out what is most important to those potential advocates. What are they looking for? Are they fishing for recognition? Are they excited by exclusive access to news and/or content? Figure out what type of advocates your brand attracts and find ways to recognize them for their advocacy. It is important to note, though, that most of your greatest community relationships will be built organically. While your research and brand knowledge encourages people and helps you put the right foot forward, relationships take time.
Another trend that influences the way youth communicates is the though the use of hashtags. With the introduction of social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, the hashtag was created to easily organize and search for information. Hashtags can be used when people want to advocate for a movement, store content or tweets from a movement for future use, and allow other social media users to contribute to a discussion about a certain movement by using existing hashtags. Using hashtags as a way to advocate for something online makes it easier and more accessible for more people to acknowledge it around the world.[156]As hashtags such as #tbt ("throwback Thursday") become a part of online communication, it influenced the way in which youth share and communicate in their daily lives. Because of these changes in linguistics and communication etiquette, researchers of media semiotics[who?] have found that this has altered youth's communications habits and more.[vague][citation needed]
One challenge is that militant groups have begun to see social media as a major organizing and recruiting tool.[57] The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, also known as ISIL, ISIS, and Daesh, has used social media to promote its cause. ISIS produces an online magazine named the Islamic State Report to recruit more fighters.[58] Social media platforms have been weaponized by state-sponsored cyber groups to attack governments in the United States, European Union, and Middle East. Although phishing attacks via email are the most commonly used tactic to breach government networks, phishing attacks on social media rose 500% in 2016.[59]
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.”
Recently Facebook has lost the trust of millions of its users by allowing 3rd parties to access over 87 million users’ personal data. This is a massive breech of trust and has created a feeling of unrest amongst the social media platform’s audience. So much so that there is now a #deletefacebook campaign where people are completely removing themselves from Facebook and using other networks instead. If you’re concerned about what Facebook is doing with your data, then why not check out my guide on alternatives to Facebook, and see if there’s a better place for you to interact with family and friends.
This instant messaging network is similar to WhatsApp and is available across platforms in more than eight languages. However, Telegram has always focused more on the privacy and security of the messages you send over the internet by using its platform. So, it empowers you to send messages that are encrypted and self-destructive. This encryption feature has only just been made available for WhatsApp, whereas Telegram has always provided it.
Social media becomes effective through a process called "building social authority". One of the foundation concepts in social media has become that you cannot completely control your message through social media but rather you can simply begin to participate in the "conversation" expecting that you can achieve a significant influence in that conversation.[48]
Users typically access social media services via web-based technologies on desktops and laptops, or download services that offer social media functionality to their mobile devices (e.g., smartphones and tablets). As users engage with these electronic services, they create highly interactive platforms through which individuals, communities, and organizations can share, co-create, discuss, and modify user-generated content or pre-made content posted online.
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