Every day a new word related to the internet is born. It is almost impossible to follow them all and know the meaning of each one of them, but a few terms are used in our daily lives like social media and social networks. However, do both theses terms mean the same? Is there a difference between them? Are Facebook, Twitter, or Youtube social media or social networks? Let’s find answers to these questions:
First, I must make it very clear that social media and social networks are not the same thing. The term social network is an old term, which basically means creating relationships with people sharing common goals and values. Therefore, I don’t need to be connected to the internet to be part of a social network.
Taking the term to the online world, social networking, is a site where I can connect with other people or groups of people through a social media profile and share content. The main purpose of the social network is interaction between people, so sites like Facebook, MySpace, among others, can be considered online social networks.
Andreas Kaplan and Michael Haenlein define social media as “a group of internet applications built on the ideological and technological foundations of Web 2.0, and which allow the creation and exchange of User Generated Content (UCG)”. In short, social media is the online environment where we can share information, such as a blog. So, Facebook can be called social media right? Right! By definition, every online social network is also social media. Social networking is a part of social media.
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Is YouTube a social network or social media? It’s social media. On YouTube, we can even chat with people and create profiles, but the main focus of the site is sharing video content.
Twitter: Social Network or Social Media?
Now we have come to the internet’s biggest dilemma: Is Twitter a social network? Some use Twitter just to communicate with people, which makes it a social network, while others use the tool to share content. It’s a very common discussion on the internet that makes you wonder, answer and then ask yourself again. Twitter’s focus is to create relationships with the content and not with people.
There is still a fine line that divides this classification, which is why many digital marketing professionals defend the idea of standardizing these two terms, since they are presented every hour with a definition and always generate discussions about this subject.
Are you interested in learning more about how to use your social media and social networks in favor of your business? Check out The Digi Duck blog for latest digital marketing updates!