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48 Characteristics of Social Media

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Social media is a class of media that allows anyone to post and share information, content and opinions. This challenges the traditional model broadcast model where information originates from large media outlets without any participation from the public. Social media allows anyone to reach out to the world and participate in a massive global conversation that never pauses. This has both advantages and disadvantages. The following are common characteristics of social media.
Algorithmic and AI bias
Algorithmic or AI generated content recommendations
Allows anyone to publish anything – takes media control from elites
Brand building
Building a social network
Cancel culture
Challenges dominance of traditional media
Collection of personal data
Community building
Content sharing
Dependence on likes and comments for self-esteem
Digital addition
Disinformation and misinformation
Engaging – easy to consume lots of time
Facilitates groupthink
Facilitates open debate
Fear of missing out
Filter bubbles – following people who reflect your own views
Global interaction
High engagement – users spend many minutes on app
Inclusive and participative – most people can get an account
Influencer marketing
Information connectedness
Instant consumption of information
May encourage consumerism
Often owned and operated by very large technology companies
Online disinhibition - People say things online they wouldn’t say in real life or face to face
Permanence – public posts may be recorded may places such that they never disappear
Person to person communication via direct messages
Public posts – what you say enters public record
Real-time updates
Short content possibly encouraging short attention spans
Social connectedness
Substitute for face-to-face interaction
Targeted digital ads
Timely pulse on events, opinion and trends
User-generated content
A filter bubble occurs when you only follow people who align to your viewpoint. Algorithms may also create filter bubbles automatically by giving you content that's similar to other stuff you've viewed. A filter bubble can cause an individual to confirm mistaken beliefs or to overestimate how much others agree with them.


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