Social Media is turning into a phrase which is being thrown around a lot these days, often in an attempt to describe what digital users post on websites and applications like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and other such alternatives. The actual scenario is completely different from what is largely being perceived. The real difference starts getting clear when we try to separate the division between these sites. Some are simple and informative like The wikipedia, whereas others like Reddit boast of being a community of people from all around the world with varying interests and believes.
Then what exactly is the Social Media? It is surely not just limited to video clips on sites like Vimeo, Youtube or any images uploaded by a user on Instagram, Snapchat. The entire Social media ecosystem is a giant entity in its own with various branches such as Forums, Informative websites, Instructional websites, Ecommerce websites, Business websites, Mobile phone applications.
The term is loosely being referred to almost any website available on the internet at this time. Any large community of users who personally feel connected with each other use social media as a platform to project thoughts and ideas among each other. The lack of information has resulted in people believing the fact that Social Media is limited to Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Whatsapp.
Decoding the term Social Media –
Before proceeding further and making things complex , it is surely better to break down the term itself and then analyzing the two constituent words. “Social” and “Media”.
Social- Relating to the society and the organization which is seen within the society necessary for building a community of people.
Media- In practical aspects, the combination of either one of these ‘television, radio, and the press’.
Combining these two terms we get Social Media which could be generalized as a direct means of communicating ideas and projecting thoughts to people who are either placed far from each other or are near, there is just no limitation to the extent to which Social Media can propagate a message or a piece of information.
Some people don’t even consider Blogging as a part of Social Media which is largely a big misconception.
The features are majorly the same throughout different websites and this is the fact which makes the end user stick with such platforms as everything is easily accessible in such Social Media websites. User Experience is a factor which is given top priority when designing modern websites and it can be easily seen in social media sites as well. Users do not have to indulge themselves deeply into the interface of any website, everything is taken care of by the developers.
Below given is the definitive guide to what social media is and the various features required to certify whether a website or an app is a part of the entire Social Media environment.
User profiles: If any website allows its visitors to maintain and create their own accounts that they can log into, then it is an indicator that there’s going to be social interaction among the users of that site. Some websites do not allow to post or review any content without creating an account.
User account pages: As the entire media running digitally is called as Social Media, the core idea behind all of this is communication and interaction. This calls for a separate entity known as user account page or sometimes referred as profile pages. It includes the details and personal information uploaded by an individual in their accounts. Usually contents on such pages are limited to profile photo, some sort of bio, recent user activity and photo/video uploads.
Connections among users: The end user of any social media site is usually there to get in touch with other people or businesses. This is generally achieved through features such as making other users ‘Friends’ or by subscribing to their feed. People use their account to interact with other site users.
News feeds: When users connect with other users on social media, they’re basically interested in the exchange of information among each other. That information is usually updated for them in real-time via the news feed of those people in which the requester of information is interested.
Notifications: Any website or app that notifies users about specific information is definitely in the Social Media league. Users have total control over these notifications and can choose what type of notification they want to receive.
Displaying appreciation and commenting: Two of the most common ways we interact on social media are via buttons which are used particularly to convey our feeling towards any article or post which attracts our attention. Usually it is seen that there are commenting section being given so that users can tell others what they actually feel about something, commenting on posts has surely been a technological revolution as it lets us project our ideas to a large audience at once.
Review, rating or voting systems: Besides liking and commenting, lots of social media sites and apps rely heeavily on the collective effort of the community to review, rate and vote on certain information that they know about or have used before.
What does the coming times look like for Social Media?
It is really difficult to predict anything accurately, but if one thing can be said about the future of social media, it is probably going to be more personalized and less clattered. Over-sharing of information will be less of a problem and filtering out irrelevant details would surely become a priority trend.
Snapchat is a social media platform that’s really at the forefront of social media evolution. Rather than blasting out updates for all our friends and followers to see, we use Snapchat more like we communicate in real life – with specific people only at specific times.
The current industry trends show inclination towards content and updates which do not last long and are deleted automatically. Snapchat is one such medium which is used heavily to interact with specific people at specific times only. Snaps or the messages sent are destroyed after 24 hours which is an unique feature. Similarly, Instagram has also introduced a feature called Stories which lets user post video or picture status which gets removed after 24 hours.
If you are on the lookout for Social Media promotion for your business or brand then get in touch with our team so that we can initiate a robust and strategic approach towards meeting your requirements.