Types of social media

From CEOpedia | Management online

Social media consist of Internet-based applications that work by using the ideological and technological basis of Web 2.0 and enable the creation and share of User Generated Content[1].

Types of social media

Social media has various forms [2]. Thomas Aichner and Frank Jacob identified 13 types of it, such as[3]:

  • Blog (e.g. Pinch Of Yum) - a form of content management system (CMS) that creates it effortless for anyone to publish brief articles called posts. Blog is ideal for advertising because of its software which gives a diversity of social features (counting comments, blogrolls, trackbacks, and memberships). Also, it is an excellent base for other social media marketing efforts, as it gives an opportunity of integrating with almost all the tools or platforms[4].
  • Business Network (e.g. LinkedIn) - is used by both: individuals and companies. A natural person can find some professionals contacts and keep up with them. After registration, users establish a private profile and exchange personal details, for example, a description of their education, professional experience or abilities. Companies need business networks mainly to offer themselves as an attractive employer and to look for new personnel.
  • Collaborative project (e.g. CEOpedia) - project which allows to form joined and concurrent substance by numerous end-users and is " in this sense, probably the most democratic manifestation of UGC"[5]. The outcomes (for example definitions, programs, discoveries, and games) are generally accessible to all people for no charge and shared as open source.
  • Enterprise social network (e.g. Social Cast) - type of social media which is used only by workers of a particular company or association. It gives comparable highlights as social networks, for instance, individual profiles. Companies need to be sure that their staff members know one another and exchange knowledge and concepts. This is very useful to improve knowledge management inside the company.
  • Forum (e.g. Word Press) - a virtual platform where users can discuss, inquire and answer other users' questions and share ideas, assessments or knowledge. Contrary to chat, communication here doesn't occur continuously, because of the time-delayed. Its content is usually visible even for users that are not logged in.
  • Microblog (e.g. Twitter) - an online blog that allows to insert posts whose length is up to approximately 200 characters. It is a brief and really popular form, which may include images or web links. Users can get notifications of news from other users, enterprises, brands or famous people.
  • Photo sharing (e.g. Google Photos) - websites whose users can upload, administer, and share photos. In most cases, users can edit online their images, connect them into albums and share their opinions with other users.
  • Products/services review (e.g. Angie's List) - website which provides customers with tools to share opinions about products or services. It also includes information about products.
  • Social bookmarking (e.g. Digg) - type of social media based on conception of saving and coordinating internet bookmarks at one place, for sharing them with friends and other users. For famous websites, social bookmarks are an important indicator.
  • Social Gaming (e.g. World of Warcraft) - web-based games that permit or require social connection between players, for instance, multiplayer games.
  • Social Networks (e.g. Facebook) - a website that enables people get in touch with friends [6]. Its purpose is to support social cohesion, the exchange of information and also communication. Social networks are listed among the most well-liked community websites on the internet[7]
  • Video sharing (e.g. YouTube) - a website where users can legally watch uploaded and shared by other users videos. Majority websites offer a possibility to comment on particular videos.
  • Virtual world (e.g. Second Life) - a website that imitates a three-dimensional habitat in which people can appear in the shape of personalized avatars and associated with each other as they would in a genuine life[8]. Contrary to computer games, time does not stop after logging out.

Advantages of Types of social media

Social media have become an integral part of our lives, enabling us to connect with people from all around the world, share our thoughts and ideas, and stay informed about the latest news. Here are the main advantages of using the different types of social media:

  • Social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, provide a great way to stay connected with family and friends, while expanding our social circle. These sites also provide an easy platform to promote businesses and products, by creating pages or accounts.
  • Video and photo sharing websites, such as YouTube and Flickr, allow us to easily share our videos and photos with the world, thus giving us the opportunity to reach a larger audience.
  • Blogging websites, such as WordPress and Blogger, provide an easy way to share our thoughts, opinions, and ideas with the world. They also allow us to interact with others, and build an online community.
  • Discussion forums, such as Reddit and Quora, allow us to ask questions and get answers from experts on any topic. This is a great way to learn more about a certain field or topic, and to connect with people who have similar interests.
  • Instant messaging platforms, such as WhatsApp and Skype, allow us to stay in touch and communicate with people in real-time. These platforms also provide an easy way to share files and documents, and to make video calls.

Limitations of Types of social media

Social media can have various limitations, some of which are listed below.

  • Privacy and security concerns: Social media platforms can lack robust privacy and security settings, which can lead to user data being compromised or exposed to malicious actors.
  • Potentially addictive: Social media can be addictive, as users can become so focused on their online profiles, likes, and followers that they become isolated from the real world.
  • Platform censorship: Different social media platforms can have different rules and policies around what content is allowed and what is not. This can lead to censorship of certain topics or ideas.
  • Data mining: Social media companies can use data mining techniques to gather information about users and their activities, which can lead to a lack of privacy and autonomy.
  • Mental health impacts: Prolonged use of social media can negatively impact mental health, leading to depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues.

Other approaches related to Types of social media

Social media includes a variety of approaches to the use of the Internet for communication and sharing.

  • Social Networking Sites: These sites allow users to create and maintain a profile, connect with other users, and share content such as photos, videos, and links. Examples include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.
  • Online Forums/Message Boards: These sites allow users to discuss topics or participate in conversations and share information. Examples include Reddit, 4chan, and Quora.
  • Blogs: These sites allow users to create and maintain a blog with posts about topics of interest. Examples include WordPress and Blogger.
  • Video Sharing Sites: These sites allow users to upload and share videos. Examples include YouTube, Vimeo, and Dailymotion.
  • Photo Sharing Sites: These sites allow users to upload and share photos. Examples include Flickr, Imgur, and 500px.

In summary, social media includes a variety of approaches to the use of the Internet for communication and sharing, such as social networking sites, online forums/message boards, blogs, video sharing sites, and photo sharing sites.


  1. A. M. Kaplan, M. Haenlein 2010, p. 61
  2. D. Zarella 2009, p. 3
  3. T. Aichner, F. Jacob 2015, p.258-259
  4. D. Zarella 2009, p. 9
  5. A. M. Kaplan, M. Haenlein 2010, p. 62
  6. D. Zarella 2009, p. 53
  7. R. Schlesinger 2014, p. 22
  8. A. M. Kaplan, M. Haenlein 2010, p. 64

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Author: Joanna Pawlik