In the age of the Internet, new social media sites seem to pop up by the day, giving people more options to share and communicate via computers or smartphones.
Facebook has been atop the social media world. It was created by CEO Mark Zuckerberg in February 2004 as a way for people to connect at his alma mater, Harvard University. Now it is open to anyone 13 or older, and users post updates on their "walls" for their network of friends to see.
Facebook has also become a popular way for businesses and musicians to communicate with their customers and fans. Surveys show that many users also get their news from their Facebook feeds. The company grew so large that it went public a year ago, leading to more ads appearing on the site. Users also play games on Facebook.
Twitter, another widely used social media website, was created in March 2006 by Jack Dorsey.
The site allows users to follow friends, celebrities and news sites to create a personal feed of updates. Twitter allows only 140 characters per post, including links. Hashtags (#) can help you group topics.
So what else should you check out? Here are a few other big ones to feed your inner social beast.
Instagram was founded in October 2010 by Mike Krieger and Kevin Systrom. It allows users to follow friends and share pictures that can be creatively altered with Instagram filters.
The good: The filters; "liking" and posting comments on pictures (no character limit); and you keep your page private. You can even "tag" your friends to a picture with their usernames. You can connect your Instagram account to Facebook, Twitter or Tumblr (Facebook bought Instagram for $1 billion a year ago). You can take photos with the Instagram app or use photos from your phone's library. You can also upload photos at its website, instagram.com.
The bad: The Instagram app only allows you to take square-shaped pictures instead of the normal 16:9 aspect ratio, so it can sometimes be a struggle to show scenery in a landscape frame. It also doesn't allow private messaging or solid communication with your friends. Conversations are limited to back-and-forths on a picture, where you have to tag them in order for them to see what you wrote.
Bottom line: Great if you like to get a little creative with photos. If you like taking scenic pictures though, you might want to stick to a real camera.
Vine was founded by Dom Hofmann and Rus Yusupov in June 2012, and then was purchased by Twitter four months later. It debuted in January and lets users create video clips up to six seconds long using an app. Think of it as an Instagram for videos.
The good: Vine also lets you get creative with your videos, letting you stitch different clips together. You can share your videos via Twitter and Facebook. Much like Twitter, you can follow anyone else with a Vine account.
The bad: Generally the same as Instagram; there is no private messaging, and six seconds is all you get.
Bottom line: Vine is a cool way to show what you're actually doing. And the stitching function makes for some creative video collaging.
If you put all of the previous sites and apps together, you would get Tumblr. It
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