Social Media


ESCP Europe, France

DOI: 10.1002/9781118989463.wbeccs214


Social media are “a group of Internet-based applications that build on the ideological and technological foundations of Web 2.0, and that allow the creation and exchange of user-generated content” (Kaplan and Haenlein 2010, 61). In simpler terms, social media are a group of mobile and web applications which enable the creation and exchange of user-generated content. The term social media is often used as a synonym for Web 2.0 and user-generated content. However, this definition shows that these are three different concepts. Additionally, social media are closely connected to two further concepts: viral marketing and ambient awareness.

Web 2.0 describes a new way to make use of the World Wide Web (WWW). Whereas during the era of Web 1.0, content was created and uploaded by individuals, Web 2.0 allows the continuous modification of the web by users using a participatory and collaborative approach. While Web 2.0 does not stand for any particular technical revision of the WWW, there are some tools such as Adobe Flash or AJAX which have made its collaborative use possible. Web 2.0 therefore is the platform acting as a host for social media.

User-generated content (UGC) describes any type of media content which is publicly available and created by end users. According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (2007), UGC must adhere to three conditions: first, the media ...

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