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Social Media vs. Social Networking: Know the Difference

Shumaila Saeed
By Shumaila Saeed || Updated on December 25, 2023
Social Media encompasses digital platforms for content sharing and interaction; Social Networking focuses on building and maintaining relationships.
Social Media vs. Social Networking

Key Differences

Social Media is a collective term for websites and applications that facilitate the creation and sharing of information, ideas, interests, and other forms of expression. Social Networking, a subset of social media, specifically refers to the building and maintaining of personal and professional relationships online.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 19, 2023
Social Media platforms can range from content sharing services like YouTube to microblogging services like Twitter. Social Networking sites, such as Facebook and LinkedIn, focus on connecting individuals and organizations to foster communication and relationships.
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Shumaila Saeed
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While Social Media serves as a broader medium for distribution and consumption of content, Social Networking zeroes in on interaction and the establishment of networks among users.
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Comparison Chart

Primary Focus

Content sharing and distribution.
Building and maintaining relationships.
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Platform Examples

YouTube, Instagram, Twitter.
Facebook, LinkedIn.
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User Interaction

Can be one-to-many (broadcasting).
Typically one-to-one or within a network.
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Content Type

Diverse, including text, video, images.
Primarily focused on personal information, statuses.
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Main Purpose

Information dissemination, entertainment.
Community building, networking.
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Social Media and Social Networking Definitions

Social Media

Social Media allows for real-time feedback and communication between creators and viewers.
She regularly interacts with her followers on social media.
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Social Networking

Social Networking enables individuals to create professional connections and look for job opportunities.
She found her current job through a social networking site.
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Social Media

Social Media has evolved into a powerful tool for brand promotion and audience engagement.
The company's social media presence helped boost its brand visibility.
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Social Networking

Social Networking often includes features like private messaging and group discussions.
The team uses social networking sites to collaborate on projects.
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Social Media

Social Media acts as a digital space for public discourse and news dissemination.
Breaking news often spreads quickly through social media.
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Social Networking

Social Networking is the use of dedicated platforms to connect with friends, family, and colleagues.
He used social networking to keep in touch with classmates from college.
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Social Media

Social Media is a platform for sharing content and engaging with a broad audience.
Businesses use social media to market their products to a wide audience.
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Social Networking

Social Networking is instrumental in building online communities based on shared interests and activities.
They created a social networking group for local hiking enthusiasts.
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Social Media

Social Media includes a variety of content types such as blogs, photos, and videos.
Artists showcase their portfolios on social media platforms.
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Social Networking

Social Networking can be a means of personal branding and networking for career development.
Professionals often use social networking to establish their industry expertise.
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Repeatedly Asked Queries

What is Social Media?

Social Media are digital platforms for sharing and engaging with content.
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Do all Social Media platforms include Social Networking?

Most do, but some are more content-focused without the networking aspect.
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How are Social Media and Social Networking different?

Social Media is a broad term; Social Networking is specifically for creating connections.
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Can Social Networking happen without Social Media?

Social Networking is a part of Social Media, so it typically occurs within it.
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What is Social Networking?

Social Networking focuses on building online communities and relationships.
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How do businesses use Social Media and Social Networking?

For advertising on Social Media and for professional connections via Social Networking.
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Is Facebook a Social Media or Social Networking site?

It's both, offering content sharing and personal connection features.
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What role does content play in Social Media?

Content is central to Social Media for engagement and interaction.
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Is Twitter considered Social Media or Social Networking?

Twitter serves as both, allowing for content sharing and personal connections.
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How important are Social Media profiles for Social Networking?

They are crucial, as they represent an individual's or organization's digital presence.
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What's the main goal of Social Media marketing?

To spread brand awareness and engage with a broad audience.
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Is Social Networking beneficial for all businesses?

It depends on the industry and audience, but it can be beneficial for most.
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Are Social Media used for professional purposes?

Yes, platforms like LinkedIn are used for professional networking and branding.
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Is YouTube considered Social Networking?

YouTube is more Social Media than Social Networking, focusing on content sharing.
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Can Social Networking exist outside of Social Media platforms?

Traditional networking can, but online Social Networking typically happens on these platforms.
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How do privacy settings affect Social Networking?

They control who can see and interact with your content and profile.
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How do algorithms affect Social Media use?

Algorithms determine what content is displayed to users, affecting engagement and reach.
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Can Social Networking lead to job opportunities?

Yes, many use Social Networking to network professionally and find jobs.
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What role does communication play in Social Networking?

Direct communication is key to building relationships in Social Networking.
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How has Social Media changed news consumption?

It has become a primary news source for many, allowing instant access and dissemination.
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About Author
Shumaila Saeed
Written by
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed, an expert content creator with 6 years of experience, specializes in distilling complex topics into easily digestible comparisons, shining a light on the nuances that both inform and educate readers with clarity and accuracy.

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