Gone are the days when people actually wrote letters and travelled to countries to see the ones they love. Dating back a few decades, people used pigeons and ponies to deliver messages and slowly came to telephones. And then, suddenly, the invention of something flipped lives on the earth’s surface – the internet.
The internet brought people together no matter the distance. They did not have the necessity to travel miles to meet and greet each other. With the invention of the internet came social media, and today there are a number of platforms of different types to do the job and stay entertained.
From ordering televisions online to ordering food, the internet has made living a breeze. You name it, and everything is available at your doorstep with a click. It has become an inseparable part of life and transformed every single thing to the point where it has become our preferred method of daily communication.
What is Social Media?
Social media is an internet-activated medium in which people can share their thoughts and messages. A place where people come together primarily for the purpose of interaction and entertainment. If you think about it, technically, social media is the modern gathering place for people from all walks of life.
If that was it, businesses would not have survived the drastic downfall of markets that the pandemic caused. Switching up old marketing strategies, companies have also started evolving to make themselves more relatable. Thus bringing up something called “digital marketing”.
A crowded place is the right place to sell goods, it is a universal law. Business owners see social media as “Demand Generation Platforms”. They advertise their products digitally to create a demand and drive them directly to their website. There goes a famous quote-
“If you want to make money, you have to help someone else make money”
That is how social media also works. It is the largest platform for affiliate marketing. They have a space for paid ads, where businesses can pay to promote the brand among users which increases brand visibility. Thus businesses have given social media a new dimension. Apart from this, people also use social media to create awareness and gather for a noble cause.
to market their products, find new people, to entertain oneself, to grow knowledge, all while staying in touch with their loved ones. Social media is pretty amazing. It has been and will continue to be the best invention of mankind.
Did you know?
Studies show that there are about 5.03 billion active internet users, which is about 63.1 percent of the world’s population, out of which 4.7 billion are active on social media.
What are the Advantages of Social Media?
Wide Audience – Millions of individuals use social media platforms. A wide audience of people who are interested in your goods or services can be reached, which is a wonderful chance for your business.
Paid Advertising – You can run paid adverts if you wish to go beyond organic posting. Each social media network offers a distinct type of paid advertising.
Gain Insights – Social media can also assist you in gathering vital information about your clients that will guide your company’s decisions.
No Financial Investment – The fact that social media marketing may be started for nothing is one of its greatest benefits. There are no signup fees of any kind on any of the biggest networks.
Learning Platform – Social media has shown to be a useful tool for accelerating the acquisition of new knowledge and skills. We can learn by connecting with educators and industry experts via social media.
What are the Disadvantages of Social Media?
Mode of Distraction – Social media was created for enjoyment, but most people exploit it. Even without our knowledge, some other people have addictions. As a result, it continues to serve as a distraction.
Time-Consuming – Marketing your products and services via social media can be an easy process. But yielding impactful results will take time; it is a time-consuming process.
Health Issues – When social media becomes an addiction, we are prone to stare at screens for prolonged periods of time, which causes underlying health issues like headaches and eye problems.
Cyber Bullying – Strangers you meet on the internet are not going to be kind to you. You are subscribing to cyberbullying while you are subscribing to social media.
Real World Disconnection – People often think social media life is the real one and end up wanting the unreal life, creating a disconnect between the real world.
Also Read: Pros and Cons of Social Media
Top 10 Types of Social Media in The World
1. Social network
Social Networking platforms allow people to unite together from different places across the world. They remain the primary source of communication and entertainment for many. There are many platforms that allow you to share information and find like-minded people. Facebook and Instagram are a few of them.
The legend probably does not need any introduction. The most used social networking platform online is Facebook. People use Facebook to create their own personal web content, stay in touch with friends, exchange photos and share their thoughts.
Users have the option to interact with others on Facebook in addition to posting their own thoughts. They can also react to each other’s posts by options like disapproving, laughing, and even hugging. Additional options for users to engage include comments and shares.
Facebook for businesses works similarly, except businesses have Facebook Pages, not profiles like individual users do. Businesses can use their Facebook Pages to engage with existing customers, target new customers, and administer customer support.
Instagram is a social media portal that prioritises sharing photos and videos via its mobile app. You can take, edit, and share visual content for both followers and un-followers. Through likes, comments, shares, and saves, users can engage in your content.
Instagram is relatively a creative platform compared to the others. You can bring your uniqueness and personality to people through your content and this will set you apart from other creators. Research shows that Instagram users are more active than users of other social media.
You might want to re-think if you aren’t one of Instagram’s one billion users. The app is a fantastic way to interact with leading companies and remain current on trends. Additionally, you can follow your preferred politicians or celebrities to get unfiltered images of their daily lives.
2. Blogging and publishing networks
Blogging and publishing networks are where people publish their blogs and read blogs of other publishers. This is the next widely popular platform because every one of us reads blogs. Blogs fill almost 90% of the internet space, and to be honest, blogs are the most amazing marketing tool. WordPress and Bloggers are two blogging and publishing platforms.
Through WordPress, you can create your website or blog for free using the open-source platform. Your blog can expand as you add new features, such as forums, an online store, premium subscriptions, and the ability to sell online courses. WordPress is, therefore, the finest free blogging platform for generating income.
This enables you to design a stunning website that stands out from the competition. WordPress is optimised for search engines. You may quickly make categories, tags, and URLs for your posts that are search engine friendly. Additionally, there are several excellent SEO plugins available for further optimization.
In order to see the facts that matter, you can quickly install Google Analytics-powered website analytics in WordPress. This increases the number of readers and subscribers to your new blog. Last but not least, creating any form of material for your blog site is simple with WordPress.
Blogger is one of the oldest blogging systems available and is still relevant today. It offers non-technical people a quick and simple way to start a blog. It hasn’t added a tonne of new features to clog up its interface or divert its attention over the years; instead, it has maintained its focus on blogging.
It has been around for more than 20 years and is a low-risk approach to distributing your material quickly. You get all the essential blogging capabilities, as well as themes and customization options to make your blog uniquely yours. Additionally, it’s a free site that allows you to monetize through adverts, so it’s worthwhile to check out.
3. Messaging Apps
Apps which are dedicatedly created for messaging are messaging apps. These are the most popular types of apps that people prefer for their day-to-day communication. Their sole purpose is messaging, and it is most sought after despite any age because of its simple interface. Some messaging apps are:
WhatsApp is a program that enables users to text, chat, and share media with one another and with groups. This includes voice and video conversations. It relies on the Internet to transmit messages, so it doesn’t use up your monthly allowance.
It offers some other features as well; messaging is the main reason why many people use WhatsApp.You can add a temporary text or photo status to the Status page to share with your contacts (or certain people you choose). You will also see any status updates shared with you by your contacts.
You may have a presence for your company on WhatsApp, engage with consumers more effectively, and expand your business with the aid of WhatsApp Business. You can install WhatsApp Business and WhatsApp Messenger on the same phone if you have distinct business and personal phone lines.
It is incredibly quick, easy to use, and completely free. Telegram is a messaging app with a focus on speed and security. You can use Telegram simultaneously on all of your devices because it synchronises your communications across all of your phones, tablets, and desktops.
With Telegram, you can broadcast to an endless number of people via channels or send messages, images, videos, and files of any kind (doc, zip, mp3, etc.) to groups of up to 200,000 people. You can write to the people on your phone contacts list and look them up by username.
All of your personal or professional messaging requirements can be met via Telegram, which is like SMS and email combined. It also allows phone and video calls that are fully encrypted from beginning to end, as well as voice chats in groups with thousands of participants.
4. Photo / Media Sharing forum
These are platforms exclusively for photo or video sharing. Users can find inspiration or tutorials of their wants and preferences. Platforms like these help you find like-minded people with similar interests. Pinterest and Youtube are some of them.
Pinterest is a visual search engine for discovering inspiration for things like recipes, decorating ideas, and more. You can always get inspiration from Pinterest because of its enormous collection of pins. Save the pins that you like to boards to keep your ideas arranged.
The saved Pins remain visible on your boards. Give your boards names and put them in any order you like on your profile. To generate additional ideas, invite Pinterest users to work together on group boards.
The majority of users claim to regularly find new companies and items through Pinterest, which might increase your exposure to new clients. Utilising Pinterest for business will promote your brand to a large audience and affect customer purchasing behaviour.
YouTube is a website made specifically for video sharing. The website has allowed millions of people to register accounts through which they may upload movies for everyone to view. Over 300 hours of video are posted on YouTube every minute; this shows the amount of content that is created.
Video files can be enormous and are frequently too big to email to another person. By uploading a video to YouTube, you can share it with others by simply providing them the URL, which is the “address” of the appropriate website.
You may use YouTube to promote brand messages, answer customer queries, show office life, and much more for your company. YouTube ads, high-quality traffic, reach a wider audience, and videos have better conversion.
5. Discussion Forums
Discussion forums were created for knowledge transferring. These platforms are more like a question-and-answer game with strangers. Users can post queries on these platforms, and people who know about that particular topic will help you out with their answers. Two such platforms are Reddit and Quora.
What is Reddit, exactly? In essence, it’s a sizable collection of forums where users may post comments on or discuss news and content. The platform is a mashup of media, trends, inside jokes, and micro-communities, which is what makes it so wonderful.
Reddit is a massive platform that blends social media, a forum, web content, and web news into one. Content such as text, images, videos, and links can be added to the website by logged-in users. Other members can vote for or against any article on the website.
This meritocratic method makes sure that compelling material goes to the top and that unpersuasive stuff dips to the bottom. The majority of internet memes and viral sensations were therefore created on Reddit.
A website for community-based questions and answers is Quora. Users post inquiries on any subject, and other users answer. Users on Quora can upvote (or “like”) a topic, follow people, comment, and leave personal messages for others. A feature called Spaces enables people to create groups based on common interests and preferences.
Quora reports claim that about 3000 – 5000 questions are posted by its users, and on average, each question receives at least 5 to 8 answers.
Users have the option to sign up using email, Google, Facebook, or Twitter. They must choose five topics of interest to pursue as part of the registration procedure. Users who have registered can ask questions, answer them, publish reviews, or add blogs about particular subjects.
6. Bookmarking platforms
These platforms allow users to find and engage in content that they like. You can bookmark your suggestions on this, which help you find similar interests. Some of them are:
Twitter is a social networking and news website where users exchange brief messages known as tweets. Tweeting is the practice of sending quick messages to your Twitter followers in the hopes that they would find them informative and entertaining, more like “microblogging”.
Twitter’s main draw is how easy it is to scan. It’s possible to follow hundreds of interesting Twitter users and quickly scan their information, which is perfect in today’s attention-deficit society.
Every tweet entry on Twitter is limited to 280 characters or less, which is done on purpose to keep things scan-friendly. With a word count restriction, tweets are encouraged to be concise and witty, which makes them simple to peruse but difficult to compose.
StumbleUpon is a public bookmarking and rating site where users may “Stumble” their favourite web pages, leave reviews, and share their findings with their followers. StumbleUpon is a fantastic resource for managing your favourite bookmarks.
It is used to organise your personal favourites in addition to directing visitors to a certain webpage, image, video, or other website. StumbleUpon recommends a particular item to its network when you favourite it. When users click the Stumble button in their toolbar or search StumbleUpon, your page will be displayed to those who exhibit interest in a particular topic if it is related to that topic and has earned favourable reviews from other Stumblers.
7. Review Networks
Review networks are platforms where people post reviews of their experiences, be it a product, service or a place. These kinds of platforms are growing enormously because of the growth of the internet and people’s curiosity to know more. Some examples are:
Through honest reviews about their purchasing and customer service experiences, Trustpilot is an online community that links companies and customers. Since the beginning, they have always aimed to assist others. As a free and transparent review platform, they strive to increase consumer and corporate trust.
Consumers entrust their confidence to Trustpilot, which also offers businesses important data to help them improve the services they provide. The one disadvantage with this platform is that it is totally dependent on user reviews, and the negative reviews that are posted can show a downfall to the company.
The largest social network for customer reviews in India is MouthShut.com. It offers a web-based evaluation platform for goods and services. Everybody can access the thousands of reviews that customers have submitted for free via the web, mobile apps, SMS, or videos.
For consumers looking to further educate themselves before making purchases, MouthShut.com is a very well-known and well-trusted resource. In addition to giving customers a free forum to share their thoughts or get insight from those of others, MouthShut.com also provides a number of programmes for companies and brands who want to use the extensive collection of reviews to boost the reputation of their goods, services, and brand.
8. Social shopping Networks
These social shopping networks are primarily known as “Demand Fulfilment Platforms”. These platforms allow users to purchase and sell products. People can search for random things and still find it on sites like these. Amazon and Flipkart are few among them.
Amazon is a well-known online retailer where you can purchase a variety of new and used goods, including everything from computers and vehicles to music and books. It is one of the largest selling internet platforms where users can buy or market their products.
The major head turn for Amazon is their interface. It is user-friendly and is regional-friendly. Amazon does not restrict its users to search only in English it allows users to search for products in their regional language also. Although there are expenses associated with selling on Amazon, it is primarily used by small and large enterprises.
This online store is currently ranked among the top 100 purchasing portals. Flipkart is now ranked #82 internationally; it is currently ranked sixth in India. It is very much similar to Amazon. Users and small businesses can buy and sell products through Flipkart.
Flipkart’s online marketplace is unrestricted because using it is less expensive than using other e-commerce sites. Initially, the company started out as an online bookstore but eventually transitioned to a platform selling everything from electronics to clothing. Flipkart continuously strives and brings out the best innovative campaigns to make a stand in the competition.
9. Audio only Apps
Audio apps are more like your telephonic conversation but on a larger network and are internet-activated. Using these apps, you can have one on one conversations or have group connections with huge crowds. Discords and clubhouse are some popular audio platforms.
Similar to applications like Skype, TeamSpeak, and business messaging platforms like Slack, Discord is a chat tool. It is designed primarily for video game players, giving them means of locating one another, coordinating play, and communicating while playing. Users can communicate any way they choose because it offers text, phone chat, and video calls.
The programme makes chatting very simple and has search features that might help you discover other users and add them to a friends list for immediate conversation. Many individuals use it as an organising and social tool in addition to communicating with one another while playing games.
Discord servers cover a wide range of subjects, such as anime, cryptocurrencies, self-improvement, and even just hanging out and meeting friends. There is also no requirement that servers be made for gaming, so you can always build one if you want a location in Discord to talk about a subject.
An audio-based social media app is called Clubhouse. According to the firm, their voice-based social product “allows people everywhere to chat, share stories, develop ideas, strengthen connections, and meet new people around the world”.
Basically, it’s like a live, free-flowing podcast where you can join and leave different talks on various topics. You have the option of just listening or contributing your own ideas. The idea is that it should resemble a clubhouse or cocktail party. In reality, it’s a hybrid of LinkedIn, a panel discussion, or a business convention.
You get the opportunity to listen to and perhaps even take part in candid conversations with well-known and influential people.
10. Anonymous networks
Anonymous networks will keep you anonymous while you post your thoughts on public space. These platforms are for people who are not comfortable exposing themselves on the web. Children below the age of 16 are not advised for these apps because of their inappropriateness at times. Some of them are:
An anonymous social networking app is called Whisper. By superimposing text on an image, users post confessions, whether they are true or false. Whisper’s distinctive selling feature is its total anonymity; customers are assigned a random moniker when they sign up.
The primary form of interaction on Whisper is replying to other people’s Whispers. By using the chat feature or sending your own Whisper, you can achieve this. It should be emphasised that it is much harder to maintain your identity when using the chat or private message option.
Secret is also an anonymous app where users are free to post their confession thoughts and likings without revealing their identity. The anonymous feature is the only intention that people use these apps for, and it is the thing that keeps users driving to it. This app allows users to post their thoughts irrespective of the topic.
Social media is amazing when it comes to networking, entertainment and marketing. As much as it has its own pros list, it also has its disadvantages. Social media can become an addiction if not used correctly. Though it was primarily invented for connecting people, it has evolved into much more. Wise usage can be cause for a wiser environment.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q: What are the 5 types of social media?
The 5 types of media are social networking, messaging platforms, blogging platforms, shopping networks and discussion forums.
Q: What is the most popular social media platform?
Studies say that the most popular social media platform is Facebook, with 2.8 billion active users, and it has continued to be since its founding. Facebook has premium features and specialised options for business owners.
Q: What is the most popular video platform?
The most popular video platform is YouTube. There are millions of videos on this platform, and it is expanding every second. There are about 800 million videos on YouTube, which means there are videos on every topic available.
Q: What is the most preferred social media platform among youngsters?
The most popular platform among youngsters is Instagram. It is because of its amazing features like reels, stories and IGTV. Instagram never fails to keep updating its app with quirky updates, which is why Instagram is preferred among youngsters.