What is social media?
In short: Social media are tools that use the power and effectiveness of the Internet and modern technology to create interactive online clubs.
The most important features of social media
Most of the social media sites are completely free they provide the ability to communicate and create interactive content for their users for free but its way to make profits is based on showing ads to its users.
Social networking sites provide advertising services to advertisers in exchange for sums of money. They get a certain amount of money from their advertisers every time one of their users watches an ad or interacts with it in any way.
On the other hand social media sites all come together under one banner, which is to give its users the ability to communicate and share with each other.
Social Media only provides its users with a tool as it does not produce any of the content on it but all content of all kinds is created and produced by users.
Social Media are platforms that have used and developed Web 2.0 technology. Web 2.0 is a new generation of web technology that allows Internet users themselves to create content and share it among themselves.
In fact, this in one way or another enables every website owner to obtain something from the advantages of social media sites
Who uses social media?
We can classify social media users in terms of the purpose of use for three types:
Individuals (to communicate, entertain and seize opportunities)
For individuals, social media is used to keep in touch with friends and family, reach new people for dating and sharing interests, and access to entertainment and news content (via sites like Facebook and Twitter which are the most popular in the world region).
Individuals also use social media sites such as LinkedIn to obtain employment opportunities, to identify and track influencers in the business and business world, or to reach potential customers or partners.
Business owners (for the purpose of marketing and profit)
For businesses, social media is an indispensable tool for finding customers and making sales. It uses social media to promote, achieve fame for brands, measure trends, and take advantage of direct communication capabilities with potential clients (answer their questions, create interactive content for them, and encourage their opinions).
In fact, Social Media helped save many corporate expenses, by providing opportunities to display ads at a minimal cost compared to the visual media or read media.
Governments, celebrities, and politicians (for the purpose of fame, making an impact, and mobilizing the public)
Governments use it to engage and inform citizens of political and economic decisions. Politicians use it to communicate with voters to promote election campaigns, or to inform the public about a particular political situation (the impact of social media was very significant during the 2016 US presidential election, especially Twitter, which was a source of breaking news, as more than 40 million tweets were posted on Twitter related to the elections until 10:00 pm ET
Also, celebrities such as singers, actors, writers, etc., use Yo-Media for the purpose of communicating with their fans, as well as those who have a positive message and try to broadcast it to their audiences for impact.
The most important social media and approximate numbers of users
In this section we will review a group of the most important and well-known social networking sites, with approximate numbers of users for each
Of course, these statistics are approximate and estimated, as the use of social media grows every hour, hourly, and secondly.
The total number of users of social networking sites around the world 2.62 billion users, and these are the most important social networking sites and the numbers of users of each.
Facebook has 2.2 billion users.
YouTube has 1.9 billion users.
WhatsApp users number 1.5 billion.
Facebook Messenger has 1.3 billion users.
WeChat number of users 1 billion.
Instagram number of users 1 billion.
QQ number of users 803 million.
QZone has 548 million users.
Douyin / Tik Tok 500 million users.
Sina Weibo has 431 million users.
Twitter has 335 million users.
Reddit has 330 million users.
LinkedIn has 303 million users.
Baidu Tieba the number of users 300 million.
Skype has 300 million users.
Snapchat has 291 million users
Viber has 260 million users.
Pinterest has 250 million users
LINE has 203 million users.
Telegram the number of users 200 million.
According to the Pew Research Center, the younger ones account for the majority of social media users (about 90% of people between the ages of 18 and 29 use at least one form of social media), and they are better educated and relatively wealthier (they earn more than 75,000 Dollars a year), the US and China lead the list on social media profit.
Advantages and disadvantages of using Social Media
The magnitude of the negative features or effects of social networking sites largely depends on the method of use, which is expected on the level of awareness among individuals, and on the level of wisdom in use and the lack of unjustified excess. However, social media is a tool like any tool that can be used for building and can be used for demolition.
First, the advantages of using Social Media
1- It represents an opportunity to reach and meet new people.
Relationships between peoples have been brought closer, through which you can communicate with individuals from other countries, and learn about their culture, ideas and beliefs, and some individuals use this to learn new languages, by communicating with individuals who speak that language.
2- It is a wonderful almost free, instant communication method.
In the past, doing business required a lot of effort, and a lot of paper correspondence between companies and that raised the cost of the product, as well as marketing of products and services for companies and institutions.
But after the emergence of modern social media, the situation has completely changed, it has become less difficult to reach the target customer.
3- It represents an opportunity to express an opinion.
Social Media greatly contributed to supporting democracy around the world, through which everyone can express their views and get rid of relatively repressive dictatorship governments of freedom of opinion and expression.
4- It represents an opportunity for talented people.
Social Media has contributed a lot to supporting innovation and creativity. How many talented people did not get an opportunity on the ground, and I got this opportunity through a social networking site. YouTube is the biggest witness to this great feature of Social Media.
5- It represents a way to get news and updates
Through social media, everyone can access the news from its source, and keep track of events for anything minute by minute.
6- It represents a way to entertain and escape the stress of life.
There is a lot of entertainment in the use of social media, there are fun and comical videos, and there are funny pictures, through which friends can also compete in one of the games, and there are a lot of other fun things in the use of social media.
7- It represents an opportunity to pursue interests and awaken passion.
Here are pages and groups that address almost all interests. By subscribing to these pages or groups, anyone can get a permanent stream of updates regarding the things they care about.
8- It represents an opportunity to improve the career and professional field
There is Social Media specializing in the world of employment and business such as Linkedin, also using social media in general and expanding the circle of knowledge and participation in professional and practical groups. This improves the opportunity to get a job and improve the professional field in general.
Second the disadvantages of using social media
1- Exposure to you with a huge amount of useless content
Everyone has the right to exist and everyone has the right to publish content, although this is an advantage for everyone, but this gave the opportunity to leak a lot of misinformation, trivial news and useless content.
2- The time wasted very heavily
Excessive use of social media turns into a real addiction and this makes it a scourge that can devour many hours every day, and if it is not stopped to use it can really devour our whole life, and deprives us of the pleasure of being in reality, and the practice of natural activities.
3- There are those who use it as a means of misleading.
This happened on a large scale in the 2016 US presidential election. There are many, whether institutions, governments, or even celebrities, who use social media to achieve malicious errors and mislead the public with the truth.
Also, there are those who use it for profit, by displaying deceptive content that drains users’ time or money.
4- It leads to family disintegration and sometimes the destruction of social relations.
Social media leads to stress and jealousy from other people in the virtual world, as well as unity and distance from others and the real community, and also social media is also one of the most important causes of family disintegration, as each family member has become interested only in his virtual world, without regard to His role towards his family and the people close to him and his community.
5- The privacy of its users is compromised.
This is one of the worst disadvantages of using social media, it makes the privacy of individuals vulnerable to hacking, and perhaps all of us have heard about the recent Facebook hack scandal and the leak of data of millions of its users.
On the other hand, the nature of using social media makes people’s lives open to everyone, so anyone can reach you and follow you through one of your social media accounts.