The Oxford Dictionary announced its ‘Word of the Year’ for 2015 was an emoji. Yes, a yellow, laughing happy face is now dictionary defined. If you’re wondering how on earth this happened, or better yet, if you’re wondering what an emoji is, this blog is for you.
We’re taking a moment to define some of the most used; least understood words in the social media landscape. If you notice a bolded word within a definition, you will find it explained somewhere in our glossary.
Glossary of Social Media Terms
App – a specialised program or piece of software designed to perform a particular function or ‘application’. It is generally downloaded onto a smart phone, tablet or other mobile device. An example is the eebudee app.
Avatar – a photo, picture or symbol that represents a real person on a social media network such as Facebook or a computer game.
Blog – a page on a website regularly updated with news or other information. Content is usually related to a specific topic, and may be written by a single person or a community. Each individual ‘blog’ post is normally presented in date order. (Like what you’re reading now!)
Chat – a direct, and usually informal conversation conducted online via a program like Facebook Messenger. Ordinarily, people chat with their ‘Friends’ or contacts online, but it is possible to connect with strangers too.
Direct message (DM) – a private message that can only be seen by the person it is sent to. More than one person can receive a direct message. When this happens, it is a ‘group’ message. Most social media networks, including Facebook, Twitter and Linked In, allow people to message each other in this way.
Emoji – a picture or symbol that denotes an emotion or idea in electronic form.
Facebook – the most popular social media network in the world today. Users create a personal account and communicate ‘Status updates’ on a wall, which their ‘Friends’ can see. Members of the Public may also be able to read what a person posts, depending on their privacy settings.
Google – a highly sophisticated search engine system used to find information on the Internet quickly. A relevant key word or phrase is typed into the search engine, and Google uses an algorithm to discover the most relevant information related to that search.
Google+ – a social media network that is owned and run by Google.
Hash tag – a categorising system founded by Twitter, and used by other social media networks too. A person includes a hash tag as a prefix to the word or topic relevant to the post. This makes it easier for other people to discover posts relating to niche subjects.
For example, a wine buff may use the hash tag #organicwine so anyone interested in this subject can find his or her content.
Instagram – a visual social media network, which allows people to post images from their mobile device and then share them with other people.
Linked In – a business-to-business social media network, which allows people to connect with other professionals online.
Meme – an image, piece of text, video or other medium that is replicated and shared rapidly on the Internet. It’s usually humorous, and often references pop-culture.
Pinterest – a visual social media network, which allows people to ‘Pin’ images or other content from third party sources on the Internet. Think of it like online scrapbooking!
Podcast – an audio file that can be downloaded from the Internet to a media player or computer. They usually happen in a series, and often feature interviews or discussions on a topic. Subscribers receive new instalments automatically.
Selfie – a photo take by you of you from your phone, webcam or other device. It’s usually then shared on social media.
Smart phone – an iPhone, Samsung Galaxy or other modern phone with a touchscreen interface that enables people to access the Internet, and other functions typical of a computer.
Snapchat – a social media network that allows people to share a temporary image or video with another person or group. Once the image or video is accessed, it cannot be seen again. However, people can ‘screenshot’ the content and then share it with others later. This is a loophole in the system.
Social media – an application or program that enables people to create content and then share it with others in their ‘network’. Facebook, Twitter and Linked In are all examples of ‘social media’.
Social media network – the word we use to describe Facebook, Twitter and other online programs used to connect communities of people.
Tablet – a mobile device that performs the functions of a computer. For example, an iPad.
Trending – a topic or subject that is receiving a lot of attention from people online. We know a topic is ‘trending’ when it is shared or commented on by many people on Facebook or other social media networks.
Tumblr – a social media network that allows users to curate content of their own and content from other sources on the Internet. Tumblr typically relies on images and is known to include content that is pornographic in nature.
Tweet – a post shared with ‘Followers’ on Twitter (a social media network). A Tweet must be 140 characters or less. People may also include hash tags in a Tweet.
Twitter – a social media network where members post short messages or ‘Tweets’, which are shared to the users who ‘Follow’ their account. Twitter tends to be updated regularly by users, and news websites often use the social media network to post rapid updates.
Vine – a social media network, which allows people to post videos (also known as ‘Vines’) that last a maximum of 6-seconds.
Viral – a piece of information circulated online to a high volume of people in a short space of time. The information may be an image, video, news piece or any other kind of content.
If you have any suggestions, or want some clarity on a term, please email email@example.com with your suggestions. You may also like to download A Social Media Glossary for Parents by eebudee and print it for grandparents or anyone else interested!