Social Media and Social Networking are terms that are used to describe a wide range of services and applications that either create or encourage an internet-connected dialogue. There are also a number of interaction and commenting services that will allow for participation on static website pages. Therefore; any internet-published materials must be considered to be a Social Medium.
These services are not restricted to web-based delivery and may be primarily accessed using other devices; such as mobile phones.
The most important types of Social Media are listed here with examples. This is not an exhaustive list and, because of the changing nature of the Social Internet, should be considered to include new, related technologies and services; as they emerge.
These sites allow users to create profiles, share content, comment and create communities of friends around themselves or a product/brand (Facebook, LinkedIn
Video and photo sharing websites
These sites not only permit you to upload and share multimedia content, but also allow for commenting and feedback on content provided by others (Flickr, Youtube, Pinterest).
Blogs, including corporate blogs and personal blogs
Online journals are often presented with the latest entry appearing at the top of the screen. These are very popular and may also encompass some Content Management Systems that are not necessarily labelled as being a “blog” (Blogger, Wordpress, Posterous, Tumblr).
Blogs hosted by media outlets
These are often represented by “comments” sections on News and Newspaper websites where public feedback is invited on current news stories (The Guardian, BBC News)
Micro-blogging platforms allow for short message posting, but include similar characteristics to non-micro blogs. Micro-blog messages will often include URLs to longer pieces of work, images or videos. Micro-blogging can also be seen as part of some of the other Social Media platforms in the form of “Status Updates” (Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook Status Updates)
Wikis and online collaborations
A wiki is a website or similar online resource which allows users to add and edit content collectively. Wiki content is sometimes referred to as being “crowdsourced” (Wikipedia, WikiHow, WikiAnswers).
Forums, discussion boards and groups
Forums, discussion boards and groups may stand alone or be part of another service or platform. They are usually directed towards a single subject or a group of related subjects and provide the tools to created extended conversations with multiple participants (Reddit, Yahoo Groups, Google Groups, 4Chan, UseNet).
Podcasting and videocasting (vodcasts)
These are audio and video files that are available by subscription (often via an RSS or ATOM syndication feed). The originating platform or service will usually provide mechanisms for feedback and/or collaborative response (iTunes, AudioBoo, SoundCloud).
Gaming / Streaming
A number of gaming platforms, gaming websites and game streaming services provide chat and communication tools (Steam, Discord, Twitch).
MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games) and Virtual World platforms allow for gaming and social interaction within an internet-hosted virtual environment. Social capabilities consist of a wide range of interactive conversation tools and include many of those tools already described elsewhere within this list (World of Warcraft, Second life).
Social Bookmarking Services (Folksonomy)
These are services that allow for the bookmarking and collaborative tagging of online content. Bookmarked pages can also receive comments from individual users (Delicious, StumbleUpon, Pinterest).
Social News Aggregation
Services that allow for Social Bookmarking of News stories, but may also include the ability to submit user-generated content and/or to vote positively or negatively for any given submission (Digg, Reddit).
This may include any form of messaging service that allows for delivery of messages to one or more recipients. These messages may be publicly broadcast or intended as private, but as electronic media; they may be released into a publicly viewable location by any of the participants (SMS, Skype, WhatsApp, iMessage)
Geo-spatial tagging is usually accessed via a mobile device, such as a “smartphone”, and provides the abilities to “check-in” at a location, add reviews to a located service/organisation, provide location specific data to photographs & videos and to create/participate in GeoCaching games (Foursquare, Google Maps, GeoCaching.com).
Any personal website; whether or not interactive capabilities are provided. With the introduction of 3rd-Party commenting/approval services (Disqus, Discourse, Facebook Like); any static webpage content can become socially interactive.
Product and Service Reviews / Online Shopping
A review site is a website on which personal comments and reviews can be posted about people, businesses, products, or services. Many online stores and auction sites also provide the ability to submit reviews of a product or service (TripAdvisor, Amazon, eBay, Trustpilot).