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Which social media option is best for you?

Sunday , February 04, 2018 - 12:00 AM

By LONDON CUMMINGS
TX. Correspondent

These days, there are enough different social media options that choosing between them has become much more difficult than it needs to be.

As similar to each other as they may seem, however, there are differences between platforms that can either make or break your social media experience. Whether you're online for yourself, your business, or any other reason, it's important to find which websites will do the most for your needs, despite how complicated making that decision appears.

To help you out, here is some basic information about each platform you may be considering:

• Text posts

A text post, as the name suggests, only consists of text. Instagram has no such thing as text posts because all posts on Instagram are comprised of either photos or videos. Instagram posts do include captions, but they're only there to communicate information about the photo or video you've posted.

This is very unlike other common platforms like Twitter and Facebook, which can also make posts including photos and videos, but usually list the captions first, prioritizing your text so it is first seen by viewers.

• Video posts

YouTube is based completely on video content, and offers no way to post photos and very few ways to make text posts. The only way to post text on YouTube is by leaving comments or interacting with your subscribers by posting announcements on your own profile.

YouTube is the most popular video platform, leaving all others unknown in the dust (just being honest), and is the best place for people who want to make it big as a musician, animator, performer, gamer, etc.

• Other kinds of posts

Tumblr has the most options when it comes to what different kinds of content you can post. Most sites allow pictures, videos and text posts, but Tumblr users can also post audio recordings, digital drawings, web links, conversation posts and more. This has made Tumblr a very popular option for online creators (like artists and writers), as it allows them to post their creations in much more interesting and complete ways.

Sharing music, digital art, writing and more is easiest on Tumblr; all other social media platforms will only allow text, photos and videos — although Instagram and Snapchat will allow you to digitally draw on photos you post.

• Temporary posts

Everything that you post to Snapchat will become unavailable to viewers within 24 hours after you posted it, unlike any other social media site. Instagram and Facebook offer an option very similar to Snapchat called “Stories,” which allows you to post photos or videos that will only be available for 24 hours, along with permanent posts.

• Search your own account

On both Tumblr and Pinterest, you can search your own profile to find content you’ve already posted or reposted from others. This is especially useful if you find yourself constantly scrolling down your profile to find old posts.

On Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, however, this is not an immediately available option. There are some secondary websites that will search those accounts for you, but they're not always trustworthy or effective.

• Business vs. personal accounts

Facebook is a better option for businesses, organizations, charities, etc. than other sites like Twitter or Instagram, mainly because it’s built to make longer posts and profiles. The pace is much slower on Facebook, whereas Twitter and Instagram are the opposite: they are designed to make short, precise update posts rather than provide lots of information.

Tumblr is the best platform for both professional and amateur creators, and Pinterest is mostly used for advertising rather than for interacting with customers or clients.

Instagram is the best platform for owners of an online store because it is so focused on photo posts. All you have to do as an online store on Instagram is update frequently, use plenty of hashtags, and make your pictures look coordinated and attractive. Plus, if you put a link to your store in your profile bio, anyone who clicks on it will be led straight to your site.

• Age differences

Facebook has a generally older user base — many more adults than teenagers regularly use the platform, mainly because of its design. Facebook is great for businesses and keeping in touch with other people, but the kids are much more interested in memes than they are in lengthy status updates.

Teenagers mostly stick with Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram because of the quicker pace and temporary nature of some posts. Pinterest is neutral ground between age groups, including just as many teenagers as it does adults.

Tumblr is a complicated story: it is also more popular with teenagers and young adults, but it tends to reside in its own corner of the Internet, and isn't as connected to the ever-changing trends that are so prevalent on Snapchat and Instagram. Tumblr prefers to remain a resource for fandoms, artists and others who don't feel as welcome on more popular platforms, rather than join the occasionally exhausting races on Twitter.

• Internet culture and syntax

Because of its fast-paced, concise environment, and generally younger user base, Twitter (as well as Vine, an out-of-operation video sharing app owned by Twitter) has become crucial to the development of online slang, humor, trends and more. Most memes of the past few years have found their origins on Twitter.

Twitter can also be credited with spreading the use of hashtags. Hashtags are integral to Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and other sites where you might just search for a certain kind of image or account. Hashtags aren’t as important on Facebook, and they aren't used at all on Snapchat.

London Cummings is a senior at Fremont High School. She thinks Marvel movies are awesome and wants to travel the world, although she spends most of her time on Tumblr. Email her at dracthealien@gmail.com.

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