Social Media Development, Usage, Challenges, and Opportunities

Social Media Development, Usage, Challenges, and Opportunities

Samaneh Beheshti-Kashi (University of Bremen, Germany) and Baharak Makki (University of Agder, Norway)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-5888-2.ch666
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One early application that made it possible to publish messages publicly was the so called Usenet. It was developed by Tom Truscott and Jim Ellis in 1979. One of the frequent users of the Usenet, Jorn Barger, is seen as the creator of the first weblog when he started his first blog in 1997 (Kaplan& Haenlein, 2010). Since this time, a huge blogosphere developed in the Internet; also other forms of social media aroused. In the last ten years over five hundred different platforms were pushed into the web. The platforms have different core usage scenarios, however, they are grouped together as social media.

Literature provides various definitions on social media. “Social Media is a group of Internet-based applications that build on the ideological foundation of Web 2.0, and that allow the creation and exchange of User Generated Content” (Kaplan& Haenlein, 2010, p. 61).

Boyd and Ellison define social network sites as follows:

…web-based services that allow individuals to (1) construct a public or semi-public profile within a bound system, (2) articulate a list of other users with whom they share a connection, and (3) view and traverse their list of connections and those made by others within the system. The nature and nomenclature of these connections may vary from site to site.

The authors use the term “social network sites” in order to describe the phenomenon itself and make a distinction between the terms “social network sites” and “social networking sites.” Even both terms are used interchangeable in public discourse, according to the authors the term “networking” refers more to the beginning of a relationship, especially between strangers. However, the scope of these sites is not networking and therefore, the term “social network sites” is applied in order to define the phenomenon of this new media form (Boyd& Ellison, 2008).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Business Social Media: The application of social media for marketing purposes or any form of business integration is considered as business social media.

Serious Social Media: The application of social media for education and learning purposes is considered as serious social media.

Social Media Politics: The usage of social media applications for any politic related topic is considered as social media politics. This includes the application of text as well as rich media formats.

Social Media Application: Every web-based-application that supports information publishing and sharing (text, video, audio, photo), the building of personal profiles, connecting to a community and searching within the community is considered as a social media application.

Mobile Social Media: The emerging trend towards the mobile usage of social media applications is considered as mobile social media.

Social Media News: News which is published, reported or shared by an ordinary user through a social media platform is considered as social media news. This includes also video, photo or audio formats.

Social Media Literacy: The competent handling with content published in social media platforms as well as the handling with the genre social media is considered as social media literacy.

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