We have discussed the Evolution of Social Media. Below is a Breakdown of the four main forms of social Media. It is important to understand what the sites are and why they have achieved popularity because it provides a foundation for the claims we make about the philosophy of social media. To go back to the main page click here.


What is it?

Snapchat is a rapid picture sharing application only available on smartphones and tablets. This specific social media is different from others because of the lifetime of photos. Users can only send pictures that they physically take at that time. Therefore, every photo shared on Snapchat captures a moment that is currently taking place.
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Users can choose to post a picture to their “story” instead of directly sending a picture to another user. Any of the user's friends can look at their story and see pictures posted within 24 hours. After the picture has been posted for 24 hours, it is automatically deleted. Pictures sent directly between users are also deleted in under ten seconds (the sender decides how many seconds the receiver has to view the image). The user can doodle on the picture or type a caption to communicate with the person receiving their picture.


Phones have the ability to “screenshot” or capture images on the screen, which directly goes against the purpose of Snapchat. Screenshotting can allow a receiver to save an otherwise temporary image. Snapchat sends an immediate message to the sender reporting who screenshotted the image. While every receiver has the power to screenshot, there are social ramifications to this action. The sender knows who possesses the image and can ask why the person felt the need to save the image. Also if the image were to appear elsewhere the sender would know who shared the picture.
Despite the threat of screenshots, people still enjoy using Snapchat. It takes some of the stress out of taking pictures. On sites like Instagram and Facebook pictures are posted permanently and others have the ability to “like” the picture and comment on it. There is no “liking” or commenting on pictures in Snapchat. Users share the pictures for the sake of showing what is going on in their life and to communicate with friends.

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Why Use It?

The appeal of Snapchat is the sense of relevancy. People can’t take pictures of cool things, edit them, then post them like other social media apps. All images on Snapchat are raw and current. Teenagers gravitate to this service for various reasons. They can share pictures of them at parties or acting goofy with friends and have comfort in knowing the picture will not last.


What Is It?

Twitter is a message sharing application where in each “tweet” users can write a max of 140 characters. These messages can be anything that the user wants them to be including pictures and videos. This is another social media site where people can follow others as well as favorite or retweet their tweets. Retweet will make them show up on the user's profile as well as the feed of anyone who follows that user. The feed shows all of the tweets of the people that the user follows. The feed can be refreshed and and any new tweets will be added. On this app there is also a notification button where a user can see who has followed them, favorited or retweeted their tweets, and if someone has mentioned them using their account name. The next feature is direct messages where the user can message people that follow them. The last feature is one where the user can view their profile and edit it.

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There is a page on Twitter where a user can also see what is trending, which is essentially the most common things people are writing about. If a person used a hashtag (#) in their tweet someone could click on it and then see every tweet with that hashtag. So for example if I were to tweet “The new royal baby is so cute! #PrincessCharlotte” a person could click on “#PrincessCharlotte” and see every tweet that has been posted using that hashtag.

Why Use It?

People use this app as a way of keeping people up to date with everything that is happening in their life. They can tweet funny things, sad things, how their day is, etc. People can also follow celebrities in hopes of getting their attention or to get a look into their life. Twitter is also where a lot of people get their news from whether that entails celebrities, politics, world stories, etc. Twitter is where most things become viral. Besides celebrities (who will use Twitter to help expand their fan base and promote products) Twitter is most popular among the younger generation. Most of the older generations would rather use a place like Facebook to post things because there is no character limit. Also many do not see the point in documenting every detail of your day.

On Twitter the user can still filter their life making it sound or look however they want. People want to appear witty, relatable, and popular on Twitter so their tweets will have been thought about and edited. Majority of tweets are filtered to have an alternate meaning or to make the writer seem cool.


What Is It?


Instagram is a photo and video sharing application that can be downloaded from the app store. When a person creates an account they can first follow friends, family, celebrities, magazines, companies, etc. and people can follow them back. They can also link all of their social media accounts together. For example if you posted a picture on Instagram you can have it tweeted on your Twitter. Their profile is the button on the far right. On here it shows every picture that has been uploaded, the number of posts, followers, and following. The user can upload a profile picture, a bio, and a website link.

The feed can be accessed by pressing the house icon on the bottom of the screen. Here is where all of the pictures posted from the people you follow appear in time order. On every picture, followers can like it and comment on it.

The next icon is a magnifying glass which lets the user search for other accounts as well as view popular uploads.
The middle icon can be used for posting pictures or videos, which can either be uploaded from the person’s photo library or they can be taken through Instagram. Once the picture has been chosen the user can then write a caption and a geotag (where the picture was taken). They can fill out both of these, one of them, or none. While writing the caption the user can use a hashtag. The picture stays on their profile forever or until they delete the picture.
The second button from the right is an activity page. Here the user can look at who has followed them, commented on their post, tagged them in a post, and liked their post. The user can also see the posts that the people they are following have liked.


Why Use It?

The purpose of Instagram is to share pictures with friends and family. However, on here the user can easily make their life seem a lot better than it really is. Every picture has been edited, filtered, and captioned to exclude anything unwanted. Instagram is a fun app to get inspired by people from all over the world and to stay connected with old friends. It is an app to share one's life, but along the way the meaning alters. Instagram is most common with the younger generation simply because we have grown up with this technology. Many parents use Instagram, but it is not as popular.


What is it

Facebook was one of the first massively used forms of social media, preceded by Myspace. For most students in the senior class, Facebook was their first glimpse of social media. The purpose of the site has shifted over the years as has its target audience.


On Facebook, a user creates a “profile” that has a “profile picture” (generally a picture of the user), a list of “likes” (movies, books, and musicians the user likes), and a basic biography. Users can upload albums of pictures, send invites to events, participate in group pages, directly message someone, or message people in a group chat.
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The signature feature of Facebook is the ability to “friend” or connect profiles with other people. “Friends” can then write posts on their “friends” profiles, “like” and comment on their pictures and statuses. This interactive nature allows for people across long distances to stay in contact with each other.

Why Use It?

Originally, Facebook was used by teenagers but adults began to use it to connect with college classmates and friends from their childhood. It is more common for teenagers to use Facebook now for school and athletic related purposes (students can easily create groups to discuss classwork or organize projects) while adults still use it for the social aspect.

Below is a picture of a Facebook group.
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People use this app as a way of keeping people up to date with everything that is happening in their life. They can tweet funny things, sad things, how their day is, etc. People can also follow celebrities in hopes of getting their attention or to get a look into their life. It is also the app where people get most of their news from.