Even in the United States, the birth-country of Twitter, currently in 2015 the social network has 306 million accounts.[174] Because there are likely to be many multi-account users, and the United States in 2012 had a population of 314.7 million,[175] the adoption of Twitter is somewhat limited. Professor Matthew Auer of Bates College casts doubt on the conventional wisdom that social media are open and participatory. He also speculates on the emergence of "anti-social media" used as "instruments of pure control."[176]

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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