Facebook is well-known social media platform that allows users to connect with “Friends” and other personal connections. Posts are usually brief, and can include pictures and links to other websites.
Twitter is a very popular platform designed for short messages that may include links to other websites, users, pictures, and topic streams. Messages must be 140 characters or fewer. Many users post “news” items to let “Followers” know what is happening on a particular topic. Hashtags (the “#” symbol followed by some characters) are often used to place messages into topical “threads” or groupings. Twitter has been used as a powerful tool in political events and revolutions.
Google+ is integrated into a user’s Google suite of applications and contains other features, such as games, photo sharing, videoconferencing, and event posting.
Another Google application, YouTube allows users to upload videos for the general public. Videos include entertainment, commercial advertisements, instructional content, and home-videos. You can also choose password protect video content if you wish to share it with only a select group of people.
Myspace is another large platform, similar to Facebook, which allows users to share information about their lives and interests. Myspace users are generally teenagers and young adults. Music is a key feature of the platform and users can listen to uploaded songs, playlists, or radio stations. The platform has a “bulletin board” feature, blogs, picture sharing, instant messaging, and video sharing.
LinkedIn provides a way for professionals to connect with each other. Increasing their number of connections helps professionals network with each other, seek new jobs and other professional opportunities. Employers post jobs and screen potential candidates. Organizations can form groups to connect their employees to each other, post jobs, make announcements, and hold discussions. Basic accounts are free.
Pinterest allows users to post or pin pictures and images to their account. The images are organized into topic groupings and can link to other websites. Users can “re-pin” an image they find on another Pinterest page to further share or promote it. Similar to other social media platforms, once the image is posted, Pinterest keeps a copy and Pinterest or other users can then use the image. Accounts are available to both individuals and businesses.
Instagram allows users to post photographs to their account. The images can be tagged, labeled, and even posted on other social media platforms, but Instagram does not allow links to other websites. Similar to Pinterest, the images may be personal photos, or pictures of text such as favorite sayings, advertisements, or documents. As with other social media platforms, there is controversy regarding the ownership of the image and whether Instagram has the authority to sell users’ images.
Blogs, or web logs, often contain longer posts than other social media types. While they sometimes convey information, they usually include the personal insights or stories of the author. Although a blog post may seem similar to a news story, blogs are not typically an objective reporting of a topic. Blogs are often personal online journals, and the user can determine who has access to the content.
- Account: Registered access to a product such as an internet social media platform.
- Account Holder: Individual who has registered access to a product or social media platform.
- Administrator: Individual or group of individuals (administrators) who are allowed access to an account for the purposes of managing or modifying the account including the profile and content.
- App or Application: a specialized software program that runs on your mobile device or your computer and provides access to an internet-based program.
- Blog: An abbreviation of “Web log,” which is a newsletter or personal journal posted on the Internet. Blogs include text, optional images, links, and reader comments.
- Default: Original or starting settings. Some settings may be able to be changed from the original setting while other settings may not be able to be changed.
- Download: Accessing a file from the Internet and making a copy on a user device.
- Dumbphone: Cellular phone that does not access the Internet or have other advanced features, but may include camera and texting ability.
- Endorse: A Linkedin designation that confirms that another user has the skills as listed on their account.
- Feed: Ongoing lists of posts, usually listed by date with the most recent post at the top of the list. See also Timeline.
- Follow: The act of subscribing to another user’s posts on Twitter, Instagram, and other social media. The posts of followed users are inserted into the feed for the subscriber or “follower.”
- Followers: the users that follow another user in Twitter, etc. Followers are displayed in a list.
- Following: Users that are subscribed to a single user of Twitter, etc., displayed in a list.
- Friend: To invite or be invited to connect with another user on Facebook.
- Friends: Users that are connected to another user on Facebook.
- Like: to endorse, support, or agree with a post on Facebook.
- Link: (1) to connect with other users on LinkedIn (2) a URL that connects to other web content on the internet or world wide web; usually a page, file, or image.
- Going Viral: See Viral.
- Handle: the public username for a Twitter account, displayed in the URL on the social media page and preceded by the @ symbol. Other users can send a direct message to the user using the @ symbol followed by the handle.
- Hashtag: On Twitter and Facebook, using the # symbol with a word, phrase, acronym, or other text will cause post to be listed in an aggregate of posts with the same topic thread.
- Monitoring: The process of checking posts for inaccurate or offensive content, performed by one or more users or administrators.
- Organization Account: Social media account for a business, club, or other group rather than for an individual. An organization account may have a different display or appearance and may have additional administrative features.
- Personal Account: Social media account for an individual user.
- Platform: A social media site, software, or business organization that provides access and hosts a network of accounts.
- Playlist: Lists of songs, videos, or other media on the user’s personal device or user account that may be private or shared with other users.
- Pin: On Pinterest, the act of posting an image on a user account (verb form), or the posted image itself (noun form). On Facebook, placing a post at the top of the user account page rather than only having the post in the list of posts or the timeline.
- Post: Used as a noun or a verb. The picture, text, or other item that a user presents on the social media platform. The act of placing the item on the social media platform.
- Re-Tweet: On Twitter, re-posting another user’s post (Tweet) for the purpose of sharing it with followers.
- RSVP: Asking for a response or responding to a request. The acronym for the French phrase, “réspondez s’il vous plait” or “please reply.”
- Scam: Request or post that is used to trick other users into providing personal information, money, or access to their electronic device (computer, tablet, phone, etc.). Scams include phishing, Trojan horses, and other methods.
- Smartphone: Cellular phone that can access the internet and usually has other functions such as the ability to use apps.
- Social Media: Electronic platforms and applications used to allow and encourage people to build virtual social networks, connect to each other online, and share information.
- Tag or Tagged: Providing brief information about an image, such as listing the people in or the location of the picture. Generally increases the ability to search for images, people, and places.
- Thread: Multiple postings about a specific topic. Usually in reverse chronological order.
- Timeline: The list of posts from a user on Facebook, usually in reverse chronological order with the most recent post at the top of the list. See also Feed.
- Upload: Moving a file from a user device to the Internet.
- URL: Uniform Resource Locator; Internet address.
- User: Individual account holder.
- Username (see also Handle): Publically displayed name or nickname for the account holder or organization.
- User Agreement: Legal contract between the account holder and social media platform.
- Viral: The phenomenon of a post, video, or image being re-posted or rapidly spread from user to user (the way a medical virus replicates itself). Also known as “going viral.”
Kids Online Privacy
The FTC has several good videos about young people staying safe while online.
The PBS show Frontline recently aired a program “Generation Like” that delves into the “the evolving and complicated relationship between teens, social media, pop culture, and big brands.”