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15 2010

What is the difference between social networking and social media?

Posted in Social Media | 5 comments
Over the last several months, I have noticed that people use the words ‘social media’ and ‘social networking’ interchangeably. Are they the same?
Not really. I would like to take a cue from Brian Solis who distinguishes the two as follows:
Social networking is a verb. It describes the interaction between people and content within any online community. The best known ones are sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, Youtube and Flickr.
Social media is any tool or service that uses the internet to facilitate conversations. Social media has created the democratization of information, transforming people from content readers into publishers.
Brian Solis’ definitions are short, sweet and correct. They help us also in understanding that social media is a more general, expansive term while social networking is more specific.
  1. I agree and would like to fine-tune these definitions a little further.
    Social networking describes the interactions between people online (rather than people and media). It's what people do offline as well while interacting with those they have no prior relationship with:) Online, it's becoming a verb by itself because the tools for doing it online did not exist till recently.
    Social media describes the creation of content collaboratively. A conversation, a video rated by many , a blog post with its series of comments, a Facebook wall, a Twitter feed are all examples of content put together by multiple users.

  2. Josh says:

    I'd argue that the online aspect is irrelevant. If you join a group of people in a location, you're networking, either socially or professionally (or both).
    Media are tools that help you network, be they Twitter, a blog, LinkedIn, a professional organization or a conference. You don't need to be online to network or to be social.

  3. Peter says:

    indeed, one is the activity, the other is the tech-tool

  4. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Dana Clark, Liisi Toom. Liisi Toom said: Easy definitions of social media and social networking @susanrlincoln [...]

  5. Social networking is just about the connectivity but Social media is about the way u use this(social networks) for ur businness.. :)