I grew up in an era when social media consisted of talking face-to-face, sending letters back and forth, and exchanging photographs through the mail. I went international in the sixth grade when I began to correspond with a pen-pal in England through letters and airmail stamps.
Social media has a totally different meaning today. Simplistically, it’s defined as a communication system that utilizes computer-mediated tools to allow people to instantly exchange information nearly anywhere in the world. With the wide array of mobile communication devices like Smartphones, iPpods, and tablets available today, social networking is constantly at our fingertips.
The networking web’s popularity is based on the idea that users generate the content using internet-based applications, They can share photos, videos, verbal discussions, and written dialogue to anyone anywhere who share the same internet platforms.
In essence, the limited world of social interaction I knew as a kid has exploded into a world-wide phenomenon of social communication using fixed and mobile devices and web-based technologies.
Although hundreds if not thousands of unique and different social media apps are available to the consumer, several giants dominate the social media field.
Facebook is the gorilla in the room when counting users and depth of market penetration. This online social networking service has hundreds of millions of worldwide viewers using mobile and stationary devices to connect with one another.
Twitter is another hugely popular online social network that provides a platform for short text message. Limited to 140-character messages, these “tweets” as they are called, can be sent and read by Twitter’s registered users. Non registered viewer can read tweets but cannot reply.
YouTube dominates the video-sharing social media arena. Individuals and companies alike post videos to YouTube for personal exposure, entertainment, and instructional use. Commercial advertisers pay to either sponsor the individual videos or have their ads appear on the same pages.
Instagram (online mobile photo sharing), Linkedin (business professionals-orientated social networking service), and Pintrest (virtual pinboard to share beautiful things found on the web) round out the top six social media apps in use today.
Because of the expanding interest and large monies to be made, new social media apps appear almost daily.
Flipora is one of the newer apps seeking a niche in the social media playground. It uses its customers’ interests and web activity to recommend web content that would be of particular interest to each individual Flipora user. Algorithms categorize the web into thousands of interest categories automatically and then match the users with those items they have determined are of interest. Flipora also has an iPhone app that uses the customer’s activities on Facebook and Twitter to determine those areas of interest to mine for information to send back to the end user.