However, the first social networks were short-lived because their users lost interest.
Social media are computer-mediated technologies that allow individuals, companies, NGOs, governments, and other organizations to view, create and share information, ideas, and other forms of expression via virtual communities and networks.
The variety of stand-alone and built-in social media services currently available introduces challenges of definition; however, there are some common features: Social media use web-based and mobile technologies on smartphones and tablet computers to create highly interactive platforms through which individuals, communities and organizations can share, co-create, discuss, and modify user-generated content or pre-made content posted online.
They introduce substantial and pervasive changes to communication between businesses, organizations, communities, and individuals.
Social media changes the way individuals and large organizations communicate.
These changes are the focus of the emerging field of technoself studies.
Social media differ from paper-based or traditional electronic media such as TV broadcasting in many ways, including quality, This is in contrast to traditional media that operates under a monologic transmission model (one source to many receivers), such as a paper newspaper which is delivered to many subscribers.
Some of the most popular social media websites are Facebook (and its associated Facebook Messenger), Whats App, Tumblr, Instagram, Twitter, Baidu Tieba, Pinterest, Linked In, Gab, Google+, You Tube, Viber and Snapchat.
These social media websites have more than 100,000,000 registered users.
Observers have noted a range of positive and negative impacts from social media use.
Social media can help to improve individuals' sense of connectedness with real and/or online communities and social media can be an effective communications (or marketing) tool for corporations, entrepreneurs, nonprofit organizations, including advocacy groups and political parties and governments.
At the same time, concerns have been raised about possible links between heavy social media use and depression and even the issues of cyberbullying, online harassment and "trolling".