A guide to 5 common social media terms

May 20th, 2011

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 idea what most of the terms associated with social media mean. This simple guide can reduce some of that uncertainty by explaining some of the more common social media terms.

1. Tag

Tag can refer to several 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 being related to a certain topic.

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

The latest form of tagging actually refers to mentioning friends in your posts and status updates. Now, if you tag them in your updates, they will be informed of your post and it will show up on their wall for all of their other friends to see.

2. Troll

A troll in this case is a person that uses social media as a way to provoke people. Trolls often make taunting or offensive comments on pages or in groups in order to provoke anger.

3. Friend

In social media terms, friend is actually an action that refers to adding someone to your social network. So, next time you hear someone discuss “friending” someone, all they’re saying is that they added someone as a friend.

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 sometimes be hard to understand, they usually pertain to simple processes that can be easily recognized. If you’d like to see an even more in-depth guide to social media terms, take a look at this article.


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