Social media use web-based technologies, desktop computers and mobile technologies (e.g., 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 media (e.g., magazines and newspapers) or traditional electronic media such as TV broadcasting in many ways, including quality, reach, frequency, usability, immediacy, and permanence. Social media operate in a dialogic transmission system (many sources to many receivers). This is in contrast to traditional media which operates under a monologic transmission model (one source to many receivers), such as a paper newspaper which is delivered to many subscribers or a radio station which broadcasts the same programs to an entire city. Some of the most popular social media websites are Baidu Tieba, Facebook (and its associated Facebook Messenger), Gab, Google+, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Reddit, Snapchat, Tumblr, Twitter, Viber, WeChat, Weibo, WhatsApp, and YouTube. These social media websites have more than 100,000,000 registered users.

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