Social Media

A basic guide to social media terms

Social media is something that is present in most of our lives, whether we like it or not. Unfortunately, many of us still have no clue what most of the terms associated with social media mean. This simple guide can reduce some of that confusion by explaining some of the more common social media terms.

1. Tag

Tag can refer to a variety of different things, depending on how it is used. Often, in blogs or other content you can attach a keyword to a blog. Those keywords are known as tags. This makes it easier for search engines to register the content you post as relating to a particular topic.

Tag might also be used in reference to tagging someone in, or linking someone to, photos. Facebook photo tagging now uses facial recognition software to help you tag friends in photos.

The latest form of tagging on Facebook refers to tagging friends in posts or status updates. You can now refer to people in a post and tag them, which will alert them to your post. This will also cause the post to show up on their wall for all of their other friends to see.

2. Troll

A troll is someone who contributes to social networks with the aim of provoking others.  They are the people that become fans of pages or join groups and then make comments that they know will upset other group members.

3. Friend

While we all know what the conventional meaning of friend is, that’s often not the meaning applied to the word friend in the social media world. In social media, to friend a person simply means adding someone to your network.

4. Stream

This is another double-meaning word. Streaming something pertains to receiving a constant flow of information, such as a webcast. A stream is what most people call their Twitter or Facebook home pages, where all of the recent information and updates are posted.

5. At mention

An at mention, or @ mention, works on Twitter a lot like status tags work on Facebook. You can mention someone in your Tweet, precede his or her name with the @ symbol and they will be alerted to your post. This also allows the post to show up in his or her home page.

Although social media terms can easily become hazy, the purpose of this guide is to help clear them up. If you’d like an even more extensive guide to social media terms take a look at this article.