An overview of social media platforms


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An overview of social media platforms

The Facebook, X, Pinterest and YouTube company logos

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Now that you have an understanding of what social media is, this activity will provide an overview of some of the most widely-used social media platforms. You will learn about what each platform does and how they are different to one another.

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The Facebook logo


By far the most popular and widely used social media platform in Australia and globally, Facebook is often the first platform that comes to mind when talking about social media.

Facebook’s primary purpose for its users is the ability to share photos, thoughts, content and private messages with other users.

Facebook (cont'd)

Facebook users connect to one another by becoming Friends via a Friend Request that is sent from one user to another. Users only become friends once the Friend Request has been accepted.

Anything you post on your Facebook page, known as your News Feed, can be seen by your Friends. They also have the ability to Share your posts with their Friends, and Like or Comment on what you have posted.

A graphic of two people who are friends on Facebook
An example of an Instagram user's home page


Instagram is a photo and video sharing platform that allows its users to share these content types with people who Follow them. Instagram users can Follow other users by tapping the Follow button on that user’s Instagram account.

Instagram (cont'd)

Instagram accounts can be set to either Public or Private. A private account means that you can approve or decline Follow requests, and also allows you to block the general public from viewing your photos.

Photos and videos posted to a Public account can be viewed by all other Instagram users.

An example of an Instagram account that has been set to private mode
The X logo

X (formerly known as Twitter)

X is a social platform where its users can interact with one another via short messages, known as Posts.

Users can share photos and videos with their followers, and they can Like, Comment on and repost content from other users.

X (cont'd)

X is a useful source if you are someone who likes to receive news alerts as events are unfolding. All reputable news sources, such as the ABC, have X accounts and post regularly to provide their followers with instant information as soon as news stories break.

An example of an X feed showing a news post
The YouTube logo


YouTube is the world’s second most popular social media platform, and is owned by the tech-giant Google. The YouTube platform allows its users to upload video that can be shared with anyone around the world with access to the internet.

Unlike other social media platforms, YouTube doesn’t require you to create an account to view content on its platform. Most people use YouTube to watch videos, and there’s a huge variety from which to choose.

YouTube (cont'd)

YouTube contains videos on just about any subject matter you can think of, and you can watch free of charge. Videos are made by amateurs, YouTubers who make their living on YouTube, and even major channels like the BBC and National Geographic.

You can learn more about YouTube in our TV, movie and music streaming services online course.

An example of a YouTube video
The Pinterest logo


Pinterest is a social media platform that is designed for its users to share photos and design ideas. The platform has a wide range of categories that you can search. From modern architecture to recipes and travel, Pinterest has something for everyone.

Pinterest (cont'd)

When you are signed in to a Pinterest account, you can save photos that you like in your own collections, known as boards. This is a great way to compile a list of your favourite recipes, collect photos on your favourite travel destinations, or get inspiration for your garden.

An example of a Pinterest board
The logos for Facebook, X, Pinterest and YouTube

Well done!

You have completed the activity - An overview of social media platforms.

You should now be able to identify what each of the major social media platforms does, and how you can use them to connect with others and share content with like-minded people.

The next activity, Key safety tips for using social media, will outline some essential safety points that you can follow to keep you and your information safe when using social media.