Social media has become an explosive web and mobile based technology that facilitates communication and interactive dialogue. It is being used by organizations, businesses, communities, and individuals for the purpose of socializing, marketing, networking, sharing of ideas, discussions, conservations, relationships, reputation, annoucements, news source, education, building of groups, etc.
Some of the more easily identifiable types of social media are Twitter, You Tube, Facebook, Linkedin, email, text messages.
One Characteristic shared by both social media and industrial media (e.g. newspaper or television) is the capability to reach small or large audiences. However, in comparison to industrial media, social media is relatively inexpensive and accessible to enable anyone to publish or access information. Its outreach is immediate and to a far greater audience than industrial media. Social media is outpacing not only traditional industrial media, but other methods that have been in use for centuries, such as word of mouth and letters.
More and more businesses are using social media as a marketing tool with negligible investment in time and resources.
Some examples of social media activity are: great majority of baby boomers have joined a social network, social interaction has resulted in marriage, online education, tools for employers to find prospective employess and for job seekers to find employment, instant source of news from anywhere in the world which is constantly updated from anywhere, anytime, and by anyone, posting of opinoins about products and brands, and services (or lack of).
Mobile devices using Twitter, Facebook, emails, and text messages have revolutionized the capacity of people to communicate on-the-go.
Social media is not just a passing fad, its here to stay. The use of social media is comparable to the invention of the printing press in 1447, which ushered in the era of newspaper. In contrast, the use of social media would not be on the same scale as the industrial revolution. The Industrial Revolution resulted in major changes in agriculture, manufacturing, mining, transportation, and technology had a dramatic effect on the social, econominc and cultural conditions of the times. It marked a major turning point in history as almost every aspect of daily life was influenced in some way. The same cannot be said about social media. As the name implies, it is mostly social in nature.