What Is The Difference Between All of The Social Media Platforms? When Should I Use Which?

What Is The Difference Between All of The Social Media Platforms? When Should I Use Which?

Statistics compiled by SocialMediaNews.com.au for February 2014.

Stats courtesy: Vivid Social Research DivisionFigures correct as of 28/02/14.

The concept of social media has been around forever. Ultimately it is just a way people get together, communicate, share ideas, learn about one another and pass on useful information. The reason there is so much talk about the concept in recent times is because now the ways we can do these things has changed through technology.

But what is Social Media in today’s terms??

No longer is the most relevant information found in an encyclopedia – Wikipedia is able to provide the most up to date peer reviewed information on everything and everything without having to wait for the next addition to come out!

We find out about our friends and family through one of the many social media applications such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+ in real time so we are able to always be in touch without even needing to pick up a phone.

Businesses are now doing their marketing, research and interaction with their clients and colleagues in different ways than they did before. There is so much information out there on the net, both positive and negative, that businesses can no longer ignore what people are saying about them on the internet. It  is so easy for bad information to get around through social mediums. In the same vain there is such a huge space out there for businesses to be able to tell the world what they can do and how great they are and allows them to get personal with their clients in a way they never could before.

With all these new ways to communicate and share information there a number of  new tools out there, all working slightly differently and for a slightly different market, which can be very confusing. Especially if you’re trying to decide which ways to get your product or service out in a business sense. You have to make sure you’re using your time, energy and money the most efficiently by choosing the best market for you.

According to statistics complied by SocialMediaNews.com.au for Feb 2014 the number of uses in Australia of social media platforms are:

1. Facebook – 13,000,000 users (according to Ad tool)
2. YouTube – 12,500,000
3. WordPress.com – 6,350,000
4. Tumblr – 4,800,000
5. LinkedIn – 3,700,000
6. Blogspot – 3,000,000
7. Twitter – 2,500,000 Active Australian Users
8. Instagram – 1,600,000 Active Australian Users
9. TripAdvisor – 1,300,000
10. Snapchat – 1,070,000 Active Australian Users
11. Flickr – 800,000
12. Pinterest – 420,000
13. Yelp – 195,000
14. MySpace – 185,000
15. Reddit – 170,000
16. Google Plus – approx 65,000 monthly active Australian users
17. StumbleUpon – 60,000
18. Foursquare – 35,000
19. Digg – 27,000
20. Delicious – 20,000

And this is just in Australia alone! That’s a lot of people out there access these applications daily to learn, share, communicate with one another.

So what are all these applications, what do they do, who uses them, and is it for you?


Facebook is the most used social media platform in Australia. It is free to all users, both personal and business. Users can create a profile, detailing any information about themselves they wish to share, upload photos and videos, send public and personal messages to friends, family, businesses. Each person you’re “friends” with you will be able to see any statuses, pictures or videos they have posted and they you depending on your privacy settings. It is a great way to keep in touch with people, get information, share information, learn about current affairs. The uses keep growing as Facebook grows and changes with new and different functionality.


YouTube is a social media platform which allows users to share and watch other user videos.  YouTube is owned by Google since 2006 so it integrates really well with Google+ and Google search. People can view your videos from the YouTube website or you can also embed it into other pages for them to click and view from there.

Twitter is a microblogging site – meaning users have 140 characters to use to communicate a messages to others who are “following” them.  Tweets as they are called, can take the form or a comment, personal status, a link to an article the user finds interesting or that will interest their followers. You can follow others on Tweeter so that you are able to see what they have to say in their micro blogs. Twitter is used extensively for personal and business as businesses are able to connect to “followers” with small bits of information they think their clients will be interested in.


LinkedIn is a social networking site which has been designed for the business community and as such is primarily used for business rather than personal. LinkedIn allows people to document their work experiences, form online communities with people in similar/complementary business goals, and in a similar way to Facebook or Twitter allows users to share interesting articles, blogs pictures etc.


Pintrest is an online scrapbook. Its used to share and categorize images found online. As a user you can follow other users who may be interested in similar topics to you, or you can “Re-Pin” specific Pins you see on other peoples “Pinboards”.  You can add to and create your own Pinboards by clicking on the Pin-It icon on an article you see that you like if the author has added this functionality. Pintrest is a great way of organizing and sharing information in a visual way.


Google+ is a social networking tool which is owned and operating by Google.  Its aim is to try and really replicate how people socialize and interact out in the “real world” by allows us to specify what category of people you wish to share your information with. It is described by Google as an added social layer to the google search functionality. It integrates with all of Google’s other services such as YouTube, docs, maps, Google now etc.  It differs from other social networks in that it allows users to set up how they share and receive information from others in the form of circles. You can create a family circle, a friends circle, a work circle etc so as to limit who can see which part of your life without having others seeing things you don’t want them to see. Google+ also has a feature called huddle which allows users to send and receive group SMS messages, which are private to the public but all members of the huddle can send and receive messages from the group.

These applications are just a tip of the iceberg. Each of these applications grows and changes with new functionality on a regular basis as their users need grow and change. The best way to keep on top of everything happening in this space and to figure out what is best for you and/or your business is to speak to an expert – speak to MedicoSocial about any questions or concerns you have.