Social Media FAQ

Social Media FAQ

Are you having trouble keeping track of your tweets from your status updates and your friends from your fans? Let us try and put the tangled web of social media into perspective for you.

Facebook is a social networking website that connects people with friends, family, colleagues, etc. It offers a variety of messaging tools, and members can share links, photos and videos. Users can join networks organized by city, workplace, school and region. They can also become fans of pages (including UMass Lowell) according to their interests, enabling them to connect and interact with other fans. 
YouTube is a video sharing website on which users can upload and share videos. It is considered to be the premier destination to watch and share original videos worldwide through the internet. The UMass Lowell YouTube channel lists a wide variety of videos including events like Commencement as well as videos made by students. People can search for specific topics or browse channels that interest them.
Twitter is a free social networking and micro-blogging service that enables users to send and read short messages known as tweets. Tweets are text-based posts of up to 140 characters and are displayed on the author's profile page while also being delivered to subscribers to that page known as followers. A number of other messaging options are available. UMass Lowell offers six different Twitter feeds for you to follow.
instagram-icon Instagram is a photo and video sharing social network that enables users to snap or upload a photo from their mobile device, apply a digital filter to it and share the photo on a variety of social networks including Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Flickr. Photos are restricted to a square shape and hashtags are used to define and categorize photos. Follow UMass Lowell on Instagram.
GooglePlus Google+ is a social networking site owned and operated by Google. Contacts can be organized into different groups known as "circles" to allow content to be shared selectively within your circles. Google+ also provides Hangouts - video chats between up to 10 users. Find UMass Lowell on Google+.
Pinterest-Icon Pinterest is a pinboard-style photo-sharing website used to create and manage theme-based image collections such as events, interests and hobbies. Users can browse other pinboards for images, "re-pin" images to their own pinboards or "like" photos. Follow UMass Lowell's boards.
LinkedIn is a business-oriented social networking site mainly used for professional networking. It allows users to create a free, professional profiles to showcase their work experience and expertise, forge meaningful business connections and share career opportunities. The purpose of the site is to allow registered users to maintain a list of contact details of people they know and trust in business. The people in the list are called connections. Users can invite anyone (whether a site user or not) to become a connection. 
icon-rss A blog or web log is a type of website, usually maintained by an individual, with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events or other material such as graphics or video. Entries are commonly displayed in reverse-chronological order.
RSS is a family of web feed formats used to publish frequently updated works, such as blog entries, news headlines, audio, and video, in a standardized format. An RSS document, which is usually called a feed or channel, includes full or summarized text, as well as things such as publishing dates and authorship. You need a RSS reader to access the feeds.UMass Lowell currently offers an RSS Feeds with the latest news.

What is Social Media?
Social media is online content created by people using highly accessible and usable publishing technologies. Social media refers the sharing of that content, including writing, video, audio, photos and more. 

People have been sharing content online ever since the advent of e-mail, instant messaging and other technologies. Today's social media are similar but much more accessible thanks to advances in technology and delivery methods.

There are many different kinds of social media, including those listed above.

What's the difference between Social Media and Social Networking?
Both terms are often used interchangeably, however social networking more specifically refers to a type of social media in which a person tries to expand their business and personal contacts.

If I use social media, how do I know that my private information is safe?
Privacy is very big concern regarding social media, particularly in higher education. It's important to remember that you have control over any personal information, if any is published online. 

However its important to treat social media like any other form of electronic communication and to remember not to put anything online that's not appropriate or that you wouldn't want another person to see.

If you have any other questions or concerns please contact Web Services at or 978-934-3875.