For the regular man or woman, social media has arguably become an indispensable part of our daily lives. We keep in touch with one another, reconnect with old friends, discover news, share funny memes, and simply look for entertainment from all the millions of channels and accounts out there. Other than understanding the etiquette surrounding social media, the hard part for beginners to it all is essentially knowing which platform is the right one for you. To recognize better if you’re a Tweeter or a YouTuber, a Snapchater or an Instagramer, then here are some quick distinctions between some of the most popular social media platforms.
Think you’ve got some comedic talent? Or maybe you have a great presenting style? Perhaps you hold some particular skill with makeup or cooking? These are all reasons why you should get involved with YouTube. A lot of famous musicians have even got their big break with YouTube, including Justin Bieber, Carly Rae Jepson, The Weeknd, and of course, Psy, who has the highest grossing video of all time with Gangnam Style. If you’re relaxed in front of the camera and have solid video editing skills, then there’s no reason why you can’t start a channel on anything you want, and maybe one day be the next big thing.
Even though there are many substitutes to the mighty Facebook, none of them have can match the reach of approximately 1.65 billion active users. Facebook is simply a nice middle-ground for sharing a variety of things, like videos, memes, selfies, funny observations, political views, etc. If you’ve got something to get off your chest and want a lot of people to know about it, then it’s hard to go past Facebook. The platform might suffer for this very reason, as over-sharing users can lead to simply too much content in news feeds, but it’s still a great resource if you want to plan events or let all your friends know about a special occasion, such as a new baby, marriage, moving house, etc.
Twitter’s ‘140 characters or less’ rule for every post was quite revolutionary back in 2006, but nowadays, brevity is welcome and there isn’t much you can’t say in that little Twitter box (although some users cheat by posting long messages over many Tweets). If you’ve got a quick wit or simply good at using a short amount of words to get a point across, then you’ll thrive on Twitter. The platform is also good to keep track of celebrities, as many stars choose to showcase their lives on Twitter.
Got an eye for detail and love to share your photos? There’s no better place than Instagram. The chance for your friends and family to see your images is one thing, but Instagram is great for connecting you across the whole network thanks to hashtags and the ‘You might like’ section. The range of filters and editing options also make Instagram a big hit and fantastic social media platform as a whole. Even dogs have their own accounts (most likely controlled by their owners, but who knows) with thousands of followers. Not the best platform if you simply want to express yourself through words, but perfect if you prefer images.
One could say that Snapchat is a direct rival to Instagram, but the two aren’t exactly the same. Instagram may have, let’s say, ‘been inspired’ by Snapchat’s Stories feature (a short movie clip which disappears after 24 hours), but Snapchat’s range of fun filters make it different enough to Instagram. Many people love the disappearing function of the app, as any content – text or image – is deleted after a small window of time. If you’ve got interesting or funny photos to share with your friends that don’t necessarily need to be seen by the entire world, then Snapchat is for you.