The variety of evolving stand-alone and built-in social media services makes it challenging to define them. However, marketing and social media experts broadly agree that social media includes the following 13 types of social media: blogs, business networks, collaborative projects, enterprise social networks, forums, microblogs, photo sharing, products/services review, social bookmarking, social gaming, social networks, video sharing, and virtual worlds.
^ Patton, George C.; Sawyer, Susan M.; Santelli, John S.; Ross, David A.; Afifi, Rima; Allen, Nicholas B.; Arora, Monika; Azzopardi, Peter; Baldwin, Wendy (June 2016). "Our future: a Lancet commission on adolescent health and wellbeing". The Lancet. 387 (10036): 2423–2478. doi:10.1016/s0140-6736(16)00579-1. ISSN 0140-6736. PMC 5832967. PMID 27174304.
For Malcolm Gladwell, the role of social media, such as Twitter and Facebook, in revolutions and protests is overstated. On one hand, social media make it easier for individuals, and in this case activists, to express themselves. On the other hand, it is harder for that expression to have an impact. Gladwell distinguishes between social media activism and high risk activism, which brings real changes. Activism and especially high-risk activism involves strong-tie relationships, hierarchies, coordination, motivation, exposing oneself to high risks, making sacrifices. Gladwell discusses that social media are built around weak ties and he argues that "social networks are effective at increasing participation — by lessening the level of motivation that participation requires". According to him "Facebook activism succeeds not by motivating people to make a real sacrifice, but by motivating them to do the things that people do when they are not motivated enough to make a real sacrifice".
Social media refers to websites and applications that are designed to allow people to share content quickly, efficiently, and in real-time. Most people define social media as apps on their smartphone or tablet, but the truth is, this communication tool started with computers. This misconception stems from the fact that most social media users access their tools via apps.
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.
Copyblogger published an interesting article several years ago, making the argument that blogs are indeed social media, despite the fact that people tend to put them in a category all on their own these days. In fact, blogs are one of the oldest forms of social media that dominated the web long before we were friending and following everyone on social networks.
Social media may have been influenced by the 1840s introduction of the telegraph in the US, which connected the country. ARPANET, which first came online in 1967, had by the late 1970s developed a rich cultural exchange of non-government/business ideas and communication, as clearly evidenced by ARPANET#Rules and etiquette's "A 1982 handbook on computing at MIT's AI Lab stated regarding network etiquette," and fully met the current definition of the term "social media" found in this article. The PLATO system launched in 1960, which was developed at the University of Illinois and subsequently commercially marketed by Control Data Corporation, offered early forms of social media with 1973-era innovations such as Notes, PLATO's message-forum application; TERM-talk, its instant-messaging feature; Talkomatic, perhaps the first online chat room; News Report, a crowd-sourced online newspaper and blog; and Access Lists, enabling the owner of a notesfile or other application to limit access to a certain set of users, for example, only friends, classmates, or co-workers. Tom Truscott and Jim Ellis conceived the idea of Usenet in 1979 at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Duke University, and it was established in 1980.