Understanding Social Media Facebook Twitter Instagram Whatsapp

Andreas Kaplan and Michael Haenlein define social media as “a group of internet-based applications that build on the foundation of Web 2.0 ideology and technology, and which enable the creation and exchange of user-generated content”

Social media technology takes many forms including magazines, internet forums, weblogs, social blogs, microblogging, wikis, podcasts, photos or images, videos, ratings and social bookmarking . By applying a set of theories in the fields of research media (social presence, wealth) and social processes (self-presentation, self-disclosure) Kaplan and Haenlein created classification schemes for different types of social media in their Business Horizons article published in 2010.

Let’s learn more about what is meant by social media . This article will be made in a question and answer format to make it easier for you to learn in more detail about what social media is , its definition, history, function, type, characteristics, growth, impact and explanation.

Explain the Definition of Social Media!

According to webopedia, the meaning of social media  is a term used to describe various web-based platforms, applications and technologies that allow people to interact socially with each other online. Some examples of social media sites and applications include Facebook, YouTube, Del.icio.us, Twitter, Digg, blogs and other sites that have content based on user participation and user generated content (UGC – user generated content).

Meanwhile, according to Wikipedia, the definition of social media is an online media, where users can easily participate, share and create content on blogs, social networks, wikis, forums and virtual worlds. Blogs, social networks, and wikis are the most common forms of social media used by people around the world.

Andreas Kaplan and Michael Haenlein define social media as “a group of internet-based applications built on the foundation of Web 2.0 ideology and technology and enabling the creation and exchange of user-generated content”.

Social media is a technology-based media that is classified from various forms, such as magazines, internet forums, weblogs, social blogs, microblogging, wikis, podcasts, photos or images, videos, rankings and social bookmarks.

According to Michael Cross, the meaning of social media in general is a term that describes the various technologies used to bind people into collaboration, exchange information, and interact through web-based message content.

The following can be seen the characteristics of social media.

  1. The message conveyed is not only for one person but is wider in scope. For example, messages via SMS or the internet.
  2. Messages delivered freely or without having to go through a Gatekeeper.
  3. Messages delivered tend to be faster than other platforms.
  4. The recipient of the message determines the interaction time

In simpler terms, social media can be interpreted as a platform to socialize with each other and is done online which allows humans to interact with each other without being limited by space and time. On social media, users can communicate with each other, interact, share, network, and various other activities.

Social media removes the boundaries of humans to socialize, with this platform it is possible for humans to communicate with each other anywhere and anytime, no matter how far away and time.

Social media has a huge impact on our lives. Someone who is originally “small” can instantly become big with social media, and vice versa, a “big” person can instantly become “small”.

It must be admitted that the users of social media sites (sosmed) continue to boom even though now various similar services are available with certain uniqueness. Apart from status updates, uploading pictures / videos to playing video games, the excitement of social media lies in the interaction of loyal users in making news viral in just a matter of minutes.

This encourages site owners to take advantage of social media as a means of looking for fast and cheap traffic. Search engine services like Google even acknowledge it as one of the elements of SEO that affect SERP. Therefore, there is nothing wrong with getting to know more about the description of social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Linkedin, Pinterest, Youtube, Instagram, etc.

After knowing the meaning of social media platforms , we will then discuss the types of social media below.

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Types of Social Media

Reporting from wikipedia, According to Kaplan and Haenlein there are six types of social media, which can be seen as follows.

1. Collaboration Projects

The website allows its users to be able to change, add, or delete content on this website. For example Wikipedia.

2. Blogs and Microblogs

Users are more free to express something on this blog, such as confide in or criticize government policies. For example Twitter.

3. Content

The users of this website share media content, such as videos, pictures, and e-books (e-books). For example YouTube.

4. Social Networking Sites

Applications in which there is “permission” for users to be able to connect by creating personal information so that they can connect with other people. This personal information can be in the form of photos or videos. For example Facebook.

5. Virtual Game World

The virtual game world is a 3D (three-dimensional) replication of the “environment”, where the user or user can appear in the form of avatars they want and can interact with other people just like in the real world. For example online games (online games).

6. Virtual Social World

Social virtual world, in which a user feels that he is living in a virtual world, just like a virtual game world, interacting with other people. However, the virtual social world is freer and more real or realistic. For example second life.

Social Media Characteristics

According to communication experts at pakarkom communications.com, social media has several characteristics, namely

1. Quality

The distribution of messages via social media has a high variety, ranging from very low quality to very high quality depending on the content.

2. Reach

Social media technology is decentralized, not hierarchical (Read: Hypodermic Needle Theory)

3. Frequency

Describes the amount of time users access social media each day.

4. Accessibility

Describes the ease with which social media is accessible to users.

5. Uses

Site owners must describe that anyone with internet access can do various things using social media such as posting digital photos, writing online and others.

6. Immediately

Describes the time it takes for social media users to communicate with others instantly.

7. Not Permanent

It illustrates that messages on social media can be edited as needed.

General Social Media Features

The following features are generally found in a social media application. To distinguish which social media platform from other internet-based applications, it has at least 7 features below.

1. User account

Each social media allows users to create their own accounts which will be verified using a mobile number or email address.

2. Profile page

The profile page contains user name data and other details such as contact and personal information. As a means of communication, a special profile page belonging to each user is mandatory.

3. Friends, followers, hashtags

Everyone can use social media platforms to connect with each other, be it with users or certain topics of information. Hashtags are used to mark certain topics or keywords which are usually marked with a hashtag #namahashtag

4. Timeline or timeline

Timeline or timeline allows us to receive the latest updates. Even today, there are many platforms that allow us to receive real-time updates. Facebook and Twitter are one of them.

5. Personalization

Popular social media usually allows each user to modify their appearance as personal as possible. This personalization can be reflected in the photos used, the information provided, and the appearance that is not monotonous.

6. Comments and reactions

The existence of feedback makes interactions more lively. This feedback can be very diverse, whether it is in the form of posts (comments), likes, re-tweets, love, or other forms of emotion.

7. Notifications

The notification feature is to make sure we don’t miss the things we should be getting.

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Social Media Functions

After knowing the meaning of social media, its types, characteristics and general features, then we need to know what its functions are. Here are some general functions of social media:

1. Means of Social Interaction

Expanding human social interaction by utilizing internet and website technology.

2. Means of Self-Actualization

As a means of self-actualization, showing talents and abilities so that it can be seen by many people on social media.

3. Dialogical Communication

Creating dialogical communication between multiple audiences and establishing personal relationships.

4. Online Community Facilities

As a means of forming an online community. This platform is a place for online people who have the same interest to communicate with each other and exchange information or opinions.

5. Communication Transformation

Transforming humans, who used to be users of the message content, turn into the message itself.

6. Personal Branding

Build personal branding for entrepreneurs or community leaders.
As a communication platform between entrepreneurs or community leaders and other social media users.

7. Media Marketing

The notification feature serves as a marketing medium that can be used to capture potential potential customers.

Impact of Social Media

Even though social media is a means of entertainment, in fact it generates many problems. Here are some of the impacts that arise from the abuse of social media.

1. Spam

Social media makes it easy for spammers to bombard netizens with spam content. Spam distributors can be accounts managed by people directly or by bots. One example is spamming on Instagram. The meaning of spam on IG is the writing in the comments column that is posted repeatedly on self-updating photos.

2. Cyberbullying

With the majority of users of the younger generation and children, social media is very vulnerable to becoming a “join in” arena. Unfortunately, not a few of these feverish actions lead to actions to discredit someone. This of course can have fatal consequences for the victim or target of bullying who can become the target and consumption of millions of people in cyberspace.

3. Fake news (HOAX)

Don’t be surprised if most of HOAX is spread through social media. This is because it is so easy for someone to spread information without adequate filters. The level of awareness in processing information is also an important factor in how easily someone shares information that has not been validated or even provocative.

4. Be Asocial

Children and adolescents become lazy about learning to communicate in the real world. Social networking sites will make children and adolescents more selfish.

5. Pornography

The assumption that the internet is synonymous with pornography is not wrong. With the ability to convey information that is owned by the internet, pornography is rampant and social media is one of the most widely used in its distribution.

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Examples of Social Media

Based on data from the Buffer Marketing Library, here is an example of the most widely used social media data in the world based on the number of monthly active users or MAUs, which stands for Monthly Active User.

1. Facebook – 2.23 billion MAUs

Understanding Facebook is currently recognized as the largest social media site, with more than two billion people using it every month. That’s nearly a third of the world’s population! There are more than 65 million businesses using Facebook Pages and more than six million advertisers actively promoting their business on Facebook, which makes it a pretty safe bet if you want to have a presence on social media.

The best-known free facebook platform for schools is synonymous with Facebook Fans Page. The creator of social media in the form of Facebook is Mark Zuckerberg. Whatsapp and Facebook are examples of social media that almost everyone has today.

It’s easy to get started on Facebook because almost any content format works great on Facebook – text, images, videos, live video and Stories. But note that Facebook’s algorithm prioritizes content that triggers meaningful conversations and interactions between people, especially those from family and friends.

Facebook can be said to be the forerunner of modern social media with various cool features such as:

1. Marketplace: users can write, read and respond to specific advertisements.

2. Groups: users can interact with other users with the same interests / hobbies.

3. Events: users can publish planned events, invite users to attend and then track who is willing to attend.

4. Pages: users can create and promote a general page about a specific topic.

5. Online chat: users can find out who is online and then invite to chat or chat.

Among the five cool features above, users are looking forward to the status update most often. Site owners also use it to share information and get instant traffic and backlinks.

2. YouTube – 1.9 billion MAUs

Is YouTube including social media or not, Who doesn’t know YouTube? The world’s most popular video hosting site that allows users and visitors to watch, comment on and share videos. They can also share YouTube videos to various web platforms using specific HTML codes. Although users can only upload video files, they are still effective at capturing traffic and sales.

Understanding YouTube is a video sharing platform where users watch one billion hours of video every day. To get started, you can create a YouTube channel for your brand where you can upload videos for subscribers to see, like, comment on and share.

Apart from being the second largest social media site, YouTube (owned by Google) is also often recognized as the second largest search engine after Google. (So, if you want your brand to be on YouTube, I’d recommend reading up on YouTube SEO.)

3. WhatsApp – 1.5 billion MAUs

Understanding WhatsApp is a messaging application used by people in more than 180 countries. Initially, WhatsApp was only used to communicate with family and friends. Gradually, people started communicating with businesses via WhatsApp.

WhatsApp has built its business platform to enable businesses to have the right business profile, to provide customer support, and to share updates with customers about their purchases. For small businesses, it has built the WhatsApp Business application while for medium and large businesses, there is the WhatsApp Business API.

4. Messenger – 1.3 billion MAUs

Messenger used to be a messaging feature on Facebook, and since 2011, Facebook has turned Messenger into a standalone application on its own and greatly extends its features. Businesses can now advertise, create chatbots, send newsletters and more on Messenger. These features have provided businesses with many new ways to engage and connect with their customers.

5. WeChat – 1.06 billion MAUs

WeChat grew from messaging applications, such as WhatsApp and Messenger, to become a versatile platform. Apart from sending messages and making calls, users can now use WeChat to shop online and make offline payments, transfer money, place orders, order taxis, and more.

WeChat is most popular in China and parts of Asia. If you do business in the area (where social media platforms like Facebook are banned), WeChat can be a good alternative.

6. Instagram – 1 billion MAUs

Facebook and Instagram are often referred to as online social media for sharing photos. Understanding Instagram is a free online photo and video sharing platform that Facebook acquired in 2012.

It allows you to share various content such as photos, videos, Stories and live videos. It has also recently launched IGTV for videos in a longer form.

As a brand, you can have an Instagram business profile, which will provide you with lots of insights into your profile and posts and the ability to schedule Instagram posts using third-party tools.

Users can upload, modify and share photos with other users via the Instagram website, email and other social media services such as Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Foursquare and Flickr. Instagram’s editing features include various digital filters, one-click rotation and borders. Photos can be shared to one or several social media at once with just one click.

In order to pamper loyal users, Instagram offers an application that can be installed on smartphones based on Android and iOS. In the application features there is a tab “Explore” which makes it easier for users to search for user accounts or specific photos based on hashtags. On the “Home” tab, Instagram users can view photos / videos from other users’ accounts that have been followed, the concept is not much different from Facebook’s newsfeed. On all photo / video content, users can like and comment.

7. Tik Tok – 500 million MAUs

Tik Tok (also known as Douyin in China) is a music video social network that is on the rise. Tik Tok was the most downloaded app in the world in the first quarter of 2018, beating Facebook, Instagram and other social media apps. Users can record videos of up to 60 seconds, edit them, and add music and special effects.

8. Twitter – 335 million MAUs

The definition of Twitter according to experts is a microblogging -based social media site  that allows users to post short posts known as “tweets”. Users can make tweets and then follow or follow other users’ tweets with application support from various platforms and devices. Tweets and replies can be written via desktop and mobile.

Twitter is a social media site for news, entertainment, sports, politics and more. What makes Twitter different from most other social media sites is that it has a strong emphasis on real-time information – things that happen in the moment. For example, one of the defining moments in Twitter history was when Janis Krums tweeted a picture of a plane landing on the Hudson River while she was on a ferry picking up passengers.

To make a news viral or a trending topic, users can put a  hashtag  in front of the desired keywords such as # beautiful. Hashtags automatically act as meta tags. Unlike other social media, tweeting is limited to 140 characters.

Uniquely, the tweet is permanent, public and easy to track via search engines. Amazingly, tweets can be searched directly via Twitter even though they are not members.

One of the requirements for creating social media such as Facebook and Twitter is having an active email and cellphone number to verify account ownership.

9. LinkedIn – 294 million MAUs

LinkedIn is deliberately designed for the business community whose goal is to make it easier for users to build and document known people professionally. LinkedIn service users can enjoy news feeds about professional activities and limited customizable modules. Users, called a connection, can register for free. Unlike other social platform services such as Twitter or Facebook, LinkedIn requires an existing connection.

With basic membership, a user can build connections with other people who have worked, know professionally or graduated from the same school. While a premium membership can be purchased for a certain amount of money so that users can get contact access to the LinkedIn database.

LinkedIn is now more than just a resume and job search site. It has developed into a professional social media site where industry experts share content, network with each other and build their personal brands. It has also become a place for businesses to build leadership and thought authority in the industry and attract talent to the company.

LinkedIn also offers advertising opportunities, such as enhancing content, sending personalized ads to your LinkedIn inbox, and displaying ads on the side of the site.

 10. Pinterest – 250 million MAUs

Pinterest is a place where people go to discover new things and be inspired, unlike most social media sites where engagement is the main focus. According to Pinterest, 78 percent of users say that the content on Pinterest from brands is much higher useful than on other sites. This provides a unique opportunity for your brand to shape purchasing decisions.

Since Pinterest users want to be inspired to try or buy new things, a presence on Pinterest can help put your brand in users’ minds. B

Pinterest features sharing and categorizes various images that are found online. Some opinions state it as a visual bookmarking site. There are various categories that can be accessed such as architecture, arts, crafts, fashion, food & beverage, home decor, science and travel. The “Pin it” button can be added to web browsers and websites.

The main focus of the site is to rely on visuals, but need to add a short description. By clicking an image displayed on Pinterest, the user will be taken directly to the original image source. Users can browse or search for image content and then follow “follow” and just like “like”.


By knowing the meaning of social media and various platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Linkedin, Pinterest, Youtube, Instagram and so on, it is hoped that site owners can make the best use of all of them for the sake of SEO.

Social media adds a new dictionary to our treasury, namely that apart from knowing the real world, we also now know the “virtual world”. A free world without boundaries containing people from the real world. Everyone can be anything and anyone in cyberspace. A person can have a very different life between the real world and the virtual world, this can be seen especially in social networks.

Seeing its rapid development, of course, social media also has a big role in how we interact today. Therefore, we as users of this social platform must also be wise in using it.

Source : Pengertian Media Sosial Facebook Twitter Instagram Whatsapp