Social Media

Social media refers to communication and interaction that occurs on a given online platform. Social media are electronically distributed, and users can access it from a smartphone, desktop or laptop computer, or tablet computer. Among the most popular social media platforms are Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Tumblr, Pinterest, Sina Weibo (said to be China’s version of Twitter), Reddit, and TikTok. This entry first describes social media and their origins, along with the most commonly used platforms and the ways they are used. It then addresses formal and informal use in higher education.


Before use of the Internet became widespread in the 1990s, there was not a comparable way to share information instantly and/or communicate on a daily and real-time basis with mass numbers of people. ...

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