Who doesn’t use social media these days? The amount of time people spend looking at phones or tablets is so high and growing every day. Now even the smallest children know how an iPad works and many have a smartphone of their own!
When we want to talk to friends we log onto Facebook or WhatsApp and send them a message rather than going to their houses! Everybody is tweeting, posting and hashtagging!
So here we have a list of the most common vocabulary and phrases to do with social media. These words will help to keep you up to date and in touch with the modern world.
- Cloud Computing
- Flash mob
- Streaming media
An easy one to start, an app is a piece of software that is designed specifically for mobile devices such as smartphones or tablets. However, programmes on computers are now sometimes called apps.
App is short for application and examples include WhatsApp and Facebook. You can download free apps and paid apps all for different purposes. Today it seems like there is an app for everything!
James: Nina, you have to check out this new app! I can talk to anyone in the world with a smartphone! The best part, it’s free!
Nina: James, do you mean WhatsApp?
James: Yeah, it’s great!
Nina: I’ve had WhatsApp for ages, it’s not that new!
James: Oh, really? Well I’m not too great with technology. You should add me!
We have a fantastic blog that you’re reading now!
Blog is short for Weblog (a word that nobody in the world says) and it is a place where you generally find articles or extended writing about a certain topic. There is a blog for everything nowadays and many people have personal blogs just about their daily lives.
Anybody can start a blog, and they’re great if you have a story to tell! You will have the chance to gain subscribers and maybe become internet famous…
Jarred: Lina, what was the article I saw that you shared on Facebook?
Lina: Oh, that was a post from my blog, I started it a couple of weeks ago.
Jarred: Wow, really? It was brilliant!
Jarred: When I get home I will have to subscribe!
Lina: That would be great, I only have about 200 subscribers at the moment.
A campaign can mean many things in English but we will focus here on the social media definition.
A campaign in terms of social media means that a company or a website is trying to gain publicity on a massive scale. They do this by advertising to gain a bigger audience and usually make more money. These campaigns can be very expensive, but big companies and organisations still are able to make money.
Rhys: Hi Gael, how is your new site going?
Gael: Great thanks! We’ve just launched a new campaign to try and get more followers on Twitter.
Rhys: Fascinating, what are you doing?
Gael: Basically, we are following as many people as possible and then sending them a message when they follow us back. It’s working well! We’ve gained 2000 followers this week.
Cloud computing is a relatively new term in the social media/technology world. Cloud computing is when you don’t use a physical device to save things such as documents files.
Instead, you save them in the cloud.
Now, this cloud isn’t an actual cloud, like a raincloud, but a virtual space where all your saved files can be accessed from anywhere! Great examples of cloud computing are Apple iCloud and Dropbox.
These days, everyone is taking advantage of cloud computing.
Boris: Hey Linda, do you have any memory left on your computer? I need to save some files
Linda: Boris, why don’t you save some stuff to the cloud?
Boris: What? I said computer, I’m not talking about the weather!
Linda: I realise that Boris! The cloud is something you can use to save all of your files without filling up your computer!
Boris: Incredible! Please teach me how!
Crowdfunding is one of the best human inventions in recent years and it’s so simple! It relies on the good will of people and human beings that want to help each other’s dreams come true! Crowdfunding is when a group of people come together to help other people raise money for their projects.
A great website for this is Kickstarter. If you post what you want to do on this site and then offer people something for investing, they will give you money electronically to help you complete it! Sounds great right? And it is when used correctly by honest people!
The problem is that some people don’t use it correctly and will post fake projects just to get money that they then keep for themselves.
So when you use crowdfunding, watch out for scams!
Denise: Meghan, I have a great idea for a floating umbrella, but I don’t have enough money to make it.
Meghan: Denise, havent you heard of crowdfunding?
Meghan: Yeah! People with ideas like yours can post their idea onto the website and other people can help you with donations.
Denise: Wow, thats cool!
Meghan: Yeah and all you have to do is give them a little something in return, like a shirt or a free product depending on how much they donate.
Denise: Well that sounds fair! I’ll have to check it out later. Thanks!
Similar to crowdfunding, crowdsourcing is when a group of people come together to complete a task or think of an idea. A lot of businesses use crowdsourcing to complete work for really low prices online.
The people that complete the work can be anywhere in the world. They are known as freelancers which means they work for whoever they want for however long they agree, but they are not committed to one company.
Crowdsourcing is another fantastic invention all thanks to the internet and the power of technology.
Timothy: Lisa, I’m having so much trouble completing my new book.
Lisa: Oh yeah, it’s hard work for sure!
Timothy: I don’t think I will be able to finish it by myself.
Lisa: Well, have you thought about using crowdsourcing?
Lisa: Yeah, it means you can go online and get people to help you. It’s cheap too!
Timothy: Oh, that sounds amazing, thank you so much!
An ebook is an electronic book that can be read on a screen or on a mobile device. These have become extremely popular in times where people have been putting down old fashioned books and picking up new tablets and mobile phones.
Also, ebooks are much easier to transport than carrying a book everywhere! On an e-reader device (a device used to read ebooks) you can store hundreds of books all at once!
The concept of ebooks has also led to normal people publishing their own work on the internet. Authors have realised that they don’t need big companies to print their books for them when they can publish them online for free.
Maria: Hey Bob, what’s that you’re reading?
Bob: It’s my e-reader! I’m reading a new sci-fi book.
Maria: I love reading! But I have never read an ebook before.
Bob: They’re different but I think they’re good, plus I can store thousands of ebooks on this tiny device.
Feeds are all over internet today! Whether it’s on Facebook or on twitter or indeed any other social network, feeds help to organise all of your favourite content (photos, videos and articles) into one easy place! Be careful though, feeds can get disorganised and full of information you don’t want to see or worse yet information that offends you.
A quick tip, don’t subscribe to too many things! Only subscribe to things you really care about (myenglishteacher.eu, obviously!) to keep your feed clear and organised.
Janet: Facebook can be so annoying! My feed is FULL of annoying cat pictures.
Dan: Maybe you should unsubscribe from some of the groups?
Janet: I think I will. Tomorrow I will spend my whole day organising my feed!
A flash mob is a new and cool invention for people that love to dance and make people smile. If you don’t know what these are, you have to have a look on YouTube (but come straight back to us!) For those who don’t know, flash mobs are people that arrange via the internet to meet in a popular place all at the same time.
But thats not all…
When a signal is given, they then begin to perform a dance together!
You just have to see this!
John: What on earth are all those people doing? They’re all dancing!
Melissa: That’s a flash mob, John, aren’t they amazing?
John: They look crazy! But cool at the same time!
Lifecasting is when people choose to broadcast their lives on the internet. Now, for some people, privacy is everything and they wouldn’t think of publicising themselves online. But, it does give anyone with a camera the chance to be the star of their own TV show!
Lifecasters broadcast their lives in a couple of different ways. They might wear a camera to show you what they are seeing as if you were seeing it with their eyes or they have somebody to follow them around with a camera just like on television.
A popular lifecasting site is justin.tv which gives lifecasters the platform to share their world with a massive audience!
It’s certainly an interesting concept, but I think I would prefer my privacy!
Meredith: Um, Harry, why are you wearing a camera?
Harry: I’m now a lifecaster! I show people what I get up to every day!
Meredith: What? So you are live on air 24/7?
Harry: No, not all day, I turn it off when I sleep and also if I have to go to the bathroom.
Meredith: I must say, I don’t understand you at all Harry!
Harry: Just ask my 500 subscribers why they watch and then you will understand!
Memes are so popular now, I would be surprised if you hadn’t seen one of these yet!
These are basically pictures with words on them, usually involving famous people or characters that have been invented for memes. Some are extremely funny, whilst some are very stupid. (sometimes they are stupid and funny!)
Facebook is one site where memes are all over the place, you can’t scroll through your newsfeed now without seeing a meme.
Chris: Pamela, what is this picture you’ve sent me?
Pamela: That’s a meme Chris!
Chris: I don’t understand. This is just a funny picture of a baby with words on it.
Pamela: It’s hilarious! It’s like the baby is saying the words. Anyone can make them and that’s one that I created the other day.
Moblog is short for mobile blog, these are blogs that people post from their mobile devices.
Often moblogs are shorter than normal blogs but they are published more regularly as mobile bloggers don’t have to be in front of a computer to post. Other features of moblogs include videos and photos, as bloggers normally use cameraphones to make their entries more interesting and more engaging.
Anybody could start a moblog! If you have a phone and something to say, why not start right now? (You could give myenglishteacher.eu a mention if you think we’re great!)
Tyrone: Kayla, you are always on your phone! Why can’t you put it down and talk to me for a second?
Kayla: Sorry! I’m writing a post for my moblog! I have to post regularly or my audience will get bored.
Tyrone: Well, I’m glad your audience is more important than me! Technology is a pain sometimes!
Streaming media is content that is given to the user live and as it happens.
Many people use streaming media to keep up with events like sports games. But also nowadays, even gamers are broadcasting streaming media to their followers! In Asia, some gaming events can be streamed around the world to millions of people.
There are lots of websites for streaming media, but be careful as some sites can be unreliable and also give you viruses.
Pip: Hey Leon, what’s that you’re watching?
Leon: It’s the big match! I’m streaming it live on my phone!
Pip: Wow, the picture is so clear, technology is amazing sometimes!
When something is trending it means that it is extremely popular in that current moment.
The phrase trending is generally used on Twitter when a popular news story or event is being talked about. Sometimes even normal people can be trending on Twitter!
Knowing what is trending can be the key to staying ahead of the news and seeing new information before anybody else!
Tom: Regan, check this out!
Tom: Our school is trending on Twitter
Regan: That’s crazy!
Troll, this is a term that’s quite important on social media but it’s also rather sad.
Trolls are people that try to make people angry or emotional on the internet by harassing them and constantly contacting them or commenting about them on social media. The good thing is that now there is protection against trolls, they can be arrested by the police and charged with a crime.
Make sure you are not an internet troll! We are all entitled to our opinion but there is no need to be too aggressive or hurtful!
Sophie: Jake, why are you crying?
Jake: Oh, it’s just these people online are saying nasty things about me. It’s happening every day now.
Sophie: Jake, you should report them! They are trolls, they have to be stopped.
Jake: I didn’t know you could do that. I will report them. They are so annoying.
A vlog is short for video weblog or video blog.
This is similar to blogging and similar to lifecasting! People post regular videos to show what they are doing every day. They are usually more action-packed than lifecasting because people are able to edit their videos and make them more interesting.
You can find most vlogs on YouTube but there are also other sites where people can put their content.
Felix: Cooper what on earth are you watching?
Cooper: This is my favourite vlogger! He’s hilarious!
Felix: How often does he release videos?
Cooper: Every two days, although I wish he did more!
Going viral is what everyone seems to be looking to do on social media. When something is viral or goes viral, it means that a lot of people have seen the content and shared it with other people.
Strange things can go viral, cat videos, baby videos, dog videos or just videos of people doing silly things. Sometimes cool things go viral! Things that make you smile, which is always a good thing.
In other times, stupid things go viral and it’s better to just ignore them!
Sarah: Darrell, have you seen that new viral video?
Darrell: You will have to be more specific! There are so many viral videos now!
Sarah: Let me find it and I’ll show you, it’s so funny. It’s a dog driving a car!
Darrell: I guess you really can find anything on the internet nowadays!
So, there’s the vocabulary, but wait! there’s more! We have some acronyms for you to use on social media. Acronyms are groups of letters that stand for words.
An example is LOL with stands for Laugh Out Loud.
ICYMI (in case you missed it): Big twitter feeds will use this for when they have a viral post that they can post again. If you miss something it means that you don’t see it when it is first posted.
TL;DR (too long, didn’t read): This is posted by fans or followers when a post that has a lot of text is posted. It means, as in the description, that they didn’t want to read all of it.
FOMO (fear of missing out): This is posted when someone thinks they are missing out, or not seeing, a viral post that is happening somewhere else on the internet or indeed something in the real world like a party or concert.
PRT (Please Retweet): PRT is used to ask people to retweet your content on twitter so that more people will see it.
FBF and TBT (Flashback Friday Throwback Thursday): These two are primarily used on Instagram, Facebook or other sites where photos are the main attraction! People post old photos of themselves or an event just because its Flashback Friday or Throwback Thursday!
Well, I hope you are now all now social media wizards and ready to go viral!
Try these out every day when you go onto social media, send them to us on Facebook or on Twitter so that you can sound more like a native speaker online!
Your native speaker friends will be impressed by your knowledge and this will lead to even more conversation!
Can you think of any other phrases or vocabulary that we may have missed? Is there anything you would like to see added?