Social Media: A Quick Guide

Social media has grown in influence in recent years and for many people it has come to dominate their lives. It can be difficult to keep up with the changes but there are some companies worth watching.

LinkedIn was launched in 2003 as a social network for business professionals and has grown to more than 200 million users. Companies and individuals use it as a professional network to make connections and get referrals and recommendations in relation to jobs and careers.

Facebook was launched in 2004 to enable people to share information and make the world more open and connected. It allows users to provide profiles, photos, contact details and join interest groups. It has grown to more than 1 billion users and is used by more women (57%) than men (43%). It accounts for one in every five page views and is increasingly accessed from smartphones.

YouTube, a subsidiary of Google, started in 2005 as a video-sharing website and highlights the importance of video as a means of communication. It has grown rapidly with increased access to the internet and is seen as an effective way to reach online audiences.

Twitter began in 2006 as an online information network to connect users to the latest news, stories and ideas. The simplicity of twitter is captured in the brevity of its tweets, which are limited to 140 characters. It has more than 200 million users and is used to share people’s interests, celebrity gossip and, ironically, is often first to report breaking news from around the world.

Pinterest was formed in 2009 as a virtual pin board to enable users to ‘pin’ and share images online. It has a large female audience and is used by businesses to promote their brands, as retailers see it as a good source of referral traffic.

Instagram was launched in 2010 as a phone app to take photographs, improve them through the use of a digital filter and share them on services such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Flickr. It was purchased by Facebook in 2012.

Google+ began in 2011 in an effort to keep up with the move to a more social, mobile and connected audience. It is a social network and its users come from a wide range of careers, professions and industries.

SO, social media has grown to play an important role in our lives and while keeping up is not essential, it can be useful.

What about you?

Does social media play a role in your life?

Look forward to seeing your comments below.