A I’m sure you have heard of Facebook and Twitter. In fact, there is a good chance that you use them. You might also have heard of LinkedIn and MySpace. These four websites are the most popular social media websites. But what exactly is “social media”?
B Social media can be defined as web-based and mobile media that are used for people to interact, connect and communicate with each other. These types of media often involve the creation and sharing of content (writing, pictures, and video) that people make themselves, mostly through the Internet.
C In general, there are six different types of social media. The first type involves people getting together to work on a project. Wikipedia is an example of this type of social media. Blogs and micro-blogs (such as Twitter) are another type of social media. There are other websites that allow people to share content such as pictures, articles or videos. YouTube is the most well-known website of this type. Another type of social media are social networking sites. These sites allow people to stay in touch with friends, make new ones and join communities. Facebook is an example of this type of social media site. Many people like to play games on the Internet and, yes, there are social media games as well. These games allow gamers to interact with each other and play with or against other gamers. World of Warcraft is a good example. The final type of social media is websites like Second Life, where people can create avatars and use and create objects, as if they were in the real world.
D Social media are different from traditional media. In the past, media was created from one place, normally a company. Then the company would send out the media to consumers. Magazines, books and movies are all examples of this. But with social media, many individual people in different locations create content. Another difference is that people who produce content in social media don’t need very special skills. On the other hand, in traditional media, people need special skills to produce something. Another difference is that social media can be produced much faster. It takes only a few minutes to write a twitter post, for example. But it can take many months to put together a magazine, or years to make a movie.
E Some people think social media is good and some think it is bad. But whatever you might think, social media is here to stay.