Reading through social media posts can seem like a never ending stream of acronyms, abbreviations, hashtags, and often times made-up words. In a previous post, we explored some brand-new English words created by social media. Since social media is ever-changing, we decided to again dive in to the not-so-official language often seen on social media platforms.


Terminology 101: The Basics

Diving right in, these are the few terms you’ll need to nail down before venturing out into the wider world of snaps, gifs and trolls.

  1. DM: “Direct Message” A private Twitter message sent to one of your followers.
  2. Repin: The act of sharing someone else’s pin on Pinterest.
  3. Loops: The number of times a Vine video has been viewed.
  4. +1: Google+ version of Facebook’s “like” button.
  5. Stream: This is your view when you log in to Google+. It shows the stream of content posted from others in your circles.
    Google+ Stream
  6. Circles: These are the categories you create to organize your followers and the people you follow on Google+.
  7. Avatar: An image or username that represents a person online within forums and social networks.
    Google+ Avatar


Terminology 202: The Acronyms

Life is short. Social media is shorter. Use your characters wisely. Use acronyms. These space savers will help you tweak your tweets and make the most of your 140 characters.

  1. #AMA: “Ask me anything”. Mainly used by celebrities and public figures to engage with their fans by answering questions they ask.
  2. #TBT: “#ThrowbackThursday” The most popular of the “day” hashtags. Users post old (and often times embarrassing) photos of friends and family.
    #TBT Example
  3. #NSFW: “Not safe for work” A warning that maaaaybe the material should not be looked at in a workplace setting.
  4. #ICYMI: “In case you missed it” Typically used when reposting popular items.
  5. #FTW: “For the win” An enthusiastic emphasis to the end of a post.
  6. #NP, #NW: “Now playing” or “Now watching”. Accompanied by the name of the movie, TV show, video, game, etc., to let other users know what they are watching/playing.
  7. #SMH: “Shaking my head” Expressing disbelief or disapproval about something.
    SMH Lee Trevino
  8. #FWP: “#FirstWorldProblems” A sarcastic hashtag used by people to shed light on how complacent they/others have become with everyday problems.


Terminology 303: The Activities

The training wheels are off. Time to get out there and start mixing things up. You’re in the trenches with your content and ready to engage with the networked masses.

  1. Trolling: Posting with the intent of getting a rise out of people.
  2. #NoFilter: Pictures taken and posted without any Instagram photo filters applied.
    #NoFilter Example
  3. #Latergram: Tells users on Instagram that the photo/video was taken, but not posted right away.
  4. #Regram: The act of posting someone else’s Instagram post on your own Instagram.
  5. Subtweet: A tweet referring to someone without actually using their @username. The Twitter equivalent of talking behind someone’s back.

Naturally, there are far more than 20 Social Media words that could use defining. Keeping up with social media lingo can be an uphill battle, but hopefully this list gives you a jump-start to get you out there and dive in to social media. Good luck!


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Our in-house research expert, Bradley brings his SEO and PPC expertise to many of our projects. From explaining the nuances of Twitter to the nitty-gritty details of your analytics set-up, Bradley excels at explaining the mysteries of the internet.