Observers have noted a range of positive and negative impacts from social media use.
Social media can help to improve individuals' sense of connectedness with real and/or online communities and social media can be an effective communications (or marketing) tool for corporations, entrepreneurs, nonprofit organizations, including advocacy groups and political parties and governments.
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At the same time, the total time spent on social media in the U. across PC and mobile devices increased by 99 percent to 121 billion minutes in July 2012 compared to 66 billion minutes in July 2011.
The idea that social media are defined by their ability to bring people together has been seen as too broad a definition, as this would suggest that the telegraph and telephone were also social media – not the technologies scholars are intending to describe.
In 2016, Merriam-Webster defined social media as "Forms of electronic communication (such as Web sites) through which people create online communities to share information, ideas, personal messages, etc." Social media technologies take many different forms including blogs, business networks, enterprise social networks, forums, microblogs, photo sharing, products/services review, social bookmarking, social gaming, social networks, video sharing, and virtual worlds.
Unlike instant messaging clients such as ICQ and AOL's AIM, or chat clients like IRC, i Chat or Chat Television, was the first online business that was created for real people, using their real names.
However, the first social networks were short-lived because their users lost interest.
The Social Network Revolution has led to the rise of the networking sites.
Research shows that the audience spends 22 percent of their time on social networking sites, thus proving how popular social media platforms have become.
Some social media sites have greater potential for content that is posted there to spread virality over social networks.
Social media are computer-mediated technologies that allow individuals, companies, NGOs, governments, and other organizations to view, create and share information, ideas, and other forms of expression via virtual communities and networks.