Computer Training: Social Media

What is Social Media?

Social media are communication tools that people use on computers and smartphones to connect with one another and to share information. These tools include various online and mobile applications (commonly called apps) and platforms such as websites, blogs or online discussion groups. Many people consider the term social media to mean the same thing as social networking. However, social networking is a narrower term. Social networking websites on the Internet create virtual communities among their users. Through these communities, members can connect with other members with common interests. Social networking has played a large role in the development and growth of social media.

Social media. Funk & Wagnalls New World Encyclopedia. (2021, December). Retrieved November 2, 2022, from


Facebook is a social networking website that connects people with common interests. Facebook enables its users to keep up to date on one another’s activities. Users can send messages to one another and share pictures, videos and interesting websites or articles. They can also join networks set up by such organizations as schools, businesses and charities. Millions of people use Facebook around the world.

Facebook. Funk & Wagnalls New World Encyclopedia. (2018, June). Retrieved November 2, 2022, from


The video-sharing Web site YouTube allows users to upload their own videos and to view and comment on original videos created by millions of other users worldwide. ... Some television shows and motion pictures are also available for viewing on the site, either for free (with advertisements running alongside the programs) or for a rental fee.

YouTube. Britannica Library, Encyclopædia Britannica. (2021, November 13). Retrieved March 3, 2022, from


Twitter is a social networking website that allows users to post extremely short messages, called tweets. Tweets must be 280 or fewer characters in length. A user’s tweets can be read instantly by other people connected through the website. Twitter’s simplicity has helped it become an important means of communication around the world. Twitter users connect by becoming followers of one another. This concept is similar to becoming “friends” on other social networking websites, such as Facebook. Users can follow acquaintances, businesses, celebrities, politicians or even random strangers on Twitter.

Twitter. Funk & Wagnalls New World Encyclopedia. (2018, January). Retrieved November 2, 2022, from


Instagram is a photo and video sharing social networking service owned by American company Meta Platforms. The app allows users to upload media that can be edited with filters and organized by hashtags and geographical tagging. Posts can be shared publicly or with preapproved followers. Users can browse other users' content by tag and location, view trending content, like photos and follow other users to add their content to a personal feed.

Instagram. Wikipedia. (2022, October 19). Retrieved November 2, 2022, from


 known in China as Douyin, is a short-form video hosting service owned by Chinese company ByteDance. It hosts a variety of short-form user videos, from genres like pranks, stunts, tricks, jokes, dance and entertainment with durations from 15 seconds to ten minutes.

TikTok. Wikipedia. (2022, October 30). Retrieved November 2, 2022, from

How the Library Uses Social Media