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A guide to 5 popular social media terms

The majority of us are using social media these days to communicate, some of us more hesitantly than others. As the fastest growing medium in history, social media is nearly impossible to ignore. Social media terms and trends can be perplexing, however, so we have a simple guide to help you navigate the murky waters.

1. Tag

A tag can refer to a variety of things, depending on how it is used. When referring to blogs, tags often refer to the keywords that were used in the post. Tagging keywords in blogs allows search engines to recognize your post as pertaining to certain topics, and helps the post rank higher.

Tag can also pertain to the act of tagging a friend in photos on Facebook. This basically means that you link someone to a photo that they are in. This feature has been around for years but it’s becoming more sophisticated as it now uses facial recognition.

You can also tag your friends in posts and status updates so they are alerted to your post. Depending on your friend’s privacy settings, the post will also show up on their wall for their other friends to see.

2. Troll

A troll in this instance is a person that uses social media as a way to provoke people. Trolls often make taunting or offensive comments on pages or in groups in order to incite anger.

3. Friend

While we all know what the traditional meaning of friend is, that’s often not the meaning applied to the word friend in the social media world. In social media, to friend someone simply means adding someone to your network.

4. Stream

This is another double-meaning word. Streaming something pertains to receiving a constant flow of information, such as a webcast. A stream is what most people call their Twitter or Facebook home pages, where all of the recent information and updates are posted.

5. At mention

An at mention, or @ mention, works on Twitter much like status tags work on Facebook. You can mention someone in your Tweet, precede his or her name with the @ symbol and they will be alerted to your post. This also allows the post to show up in his or her home page.

Although social media terms can often be confusing, this guide can certainly help clear up some of the confusion. If you’d like even more social media definitions, take a look at this article.

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