If you were asked to name a social media website, Facebook, Twitter, and perhaps LinkedIn immediately come to mind. Ah, but there are so many other social media sites! So what if you don’t have the time to use them all?
With so much social media availability on desktop and mobile it can be confusing, so here is a small glossary of some of the more popular social media websites (ordered by launch date) which also have their mobile app counterparts. A few here are only mobile. If you’d like to see a demo of a website or mobile app, check out YouTube, where you can likely find a tutorial. Note that website and mobile app navigation will be a bit different for a particular company (for instance Facebook), but you can access your data using either.
Also note that these social media platforms share common functions, yet each has it’s niche and plethora of loyal users. Social beings that we are, we seem to love and can’t stop sharing, following, subscribing, commenting, liking, and hashtagging.
LinkedIn - launched in 2003, yes it really has been around for over 10 years. It is used for professional networking. Your profile contains your work history. You can give and receive recommendations, as well as job hunt and join professional groups.
Facebook – launched in 2004, it is now the world’s most popular social media site, used for sharing posts, pictures, videos, and interests. Both individuals and businesses have Timelines. Note that you don’t need an account to visit a business page on Facebook which is why you often see facebook.com/username in advertising.
Flickr - launched in 2004, and is now owned by Yahoo. Flickr (yes the e is absent) is great to use to store, organize, and share your photos and videos. You can share your content with friends, family, make it public or keep it private. You can tag to categorize and easily retrieve your items. A free account gives you a whopping 1 terabyte of storage. Flickr users are quite passionate about their love of this application.
YouTube – launched in 2005 and now owned by Google is where we watch a lot of cute pet videos, but you can also use YouTube to research and find solutions on almost any topic, as well as view movies, tv, music, and even view college courses.
Twitter – launched in 2006, Twitter is the world’s second most popular social media site. Tweets (posts) are limited to 140 characters. Twitter now also supports photos and short videos. You don’t need an account to view content using a web browser. Go to twitter.com/twitter and then use search to view celebrity, company, or anyone’s tweets.
Tumblr – launched in 2007, and yes another site name where the “e’ is not there. Tumblr is considered a micro-blogging site, currently owned by Yahoo, where users follow one another. Users primarily post pics or other content and short posts. If you have something to say or something to show and you want quick and easy, you may want to express yourself on Tumblr.
Foursquare – launched in 2009, Foursquare is location based. You check in to a location, (restaurant or store for example). You can find friends who have also checked in. Venues may offer discounts or specials for checking in. The website provides suggestions of places to visit and discounts offered.
Pinterest - launched in 2010, Pinterest allows you to pin (save) web pages on bulletin boards. It’s great for projects like bathroom makeovers (save web pages with pics of bathroom vanities for instance), or wedding planning (save pages of flowers, dresses, shoes, etc). You can follow other pinners and be followed.
Instagram – launched in 2010, Instagram is used to share photos and short videos taken with your mobile phone. Users follow one another. You can use a filter to change the image. Images are square, similar to the old Kodak Instamatic pics us baby boomers used to have. Instagram was acquired by Facebook. Content can be shared on other sites.
Google + - launched in 2011, similar to Facebook, Google + allows you to share content with others. You create circles of people who you share content with. Hangouts is a video chat feature for up to 10 people.
Snapchat – was launched in 2011 for mobile devices. Snapchat enables you to send a picture or 10 second video which automatically deletes. New functionality allows you to string photos and videos together to create a story. Stories don’t disappear, but each piece of the story is only available for 24 hours.
Vine – a mobile app, was recently launched in 2013, and is now owned by Twitter. You can create short 6.5 second videos which can be posted on both Twitter and Facebook.
There are always new social media apps popping up, new ways to use them, and companies buying them out. If you’ve read this post quickly it may just be up to date!