The participation of users in social media


As for the participation of users in social media, the first point that need be discussed is that what is social media. Social media is a term of social net work sites, and it is an online media practice (Hinton & Hjorth, 2013). Recently, social media is being more popular, users can get information from social media platforms rather than haploid from newspaper, radio, television and news website. Social media also provides platform for people to share information and connect with others (byod, 2012). Nowadays, the famous social media platforms are Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Wechat, Weibo, Linked In and Pinterest. From 2012-2014, the number of users of social media had been increased, especially, Facebook occupied the most popular social media platform (Duggan, Ellison, Lampe, Lenhart & Madden, 2015).


Secondly, the most important part of social media is that the users. Two roles of users in social media are controller and colltrolled (Hinton & Hjorth, 2013). As for controllers, users can produce and control media that is the new structure of control and power (Hinton & Hjorth, 2013). In another hand, users are controlled by social media. Owing to that, the social media will offer some information that citizens easily to believe, some of these information was unreal which easily need to cause the panic.

Hinton and Hjorth (2013) states “social media is fundamentally a participative mediaum.” User generated content (UGC) and user created content (UCC) are two forms of the participation. User created content (UCC) is that the content created by users, and user generated content (UGC) is similar to user created content (UCC), but the content made by others (Hinton & Hjorth, 2013).

User created content

In the user created content, technological drivers, social drivers, economic drivers and legal drivers are the four main drivers (Vickery & Wusch-Vincent, 2007). The broad useage in the recent social media and the participation occupies a significant role in social media (Hinton & Hjorth, 2013). Owing to that participative forms becoming mainstream, such as social network sites (SNSs), this is a condition of that increasing number of citizen journalists which is challenging the formal news media and journalism (Meikle & Kedden, 2010). User created content (UCC) is already became an economic condition in nowadays (Vickery & Wusch-Vincent, 2007). The most obvious effect is for the information communication technology (ICT) products and the newly user created content (UCC) platforms (Vickery & Wusch-Vincent, 2007). Another impact of user created content (UCC) is for the social field, owing to that user created content (UCC) will provide the platform and encourage the consumers to sharing the news, information and opinions in order to achieve the participation (Vickery & Wusch-Vincent, 2007). This is one of the reasons that enhance number of citizen journalism, some of them has the professional skills, for example, photography, video shooting, and sense of news.

Users as producers

In the Web 2.0 age, users are the significant participator of the social media sites. So the user created content and user generated content have been appeared. Attendant idea is that the users are the producer of media, in another word, the word “produser” will be more accurate, just mains that the users not only a user of social media, but also the producer in social media (Bruns, 2008).

There are the challenges and opportunities of social media. Collaborative projects let the companies of social media need to alert that the information for many users, and the reliability information on the social media platform will be doubted (Kaplan & Haenlein, 2010). However, the opportunities of social media is that the convince and vast users in social media platform, which can get more participation with users.

Citizen Journalism

Citizen journalism is a new form of the journalism in user created content (UCC), it is a conflict between the form of traditional journalism mode and participative media (Hnition & Hjorth, 2013). Social media provides a different platform for the news story collection from traditional pattern, for instance, collecting way of newspapers. Social media offers the users to create the news story that they have experienced, sometimes, the citizen journalist is one of the eyewitness in a incident, in which has the intuitionistic feeling about the incident. So the problem is that citizen journalists will use the motional words to report the incident, different from the professional journalists use the objective word and the professional form in order to report the truth of the incident. The professional journalists have been trained for the interview and research skills which are the two important skills that can approach the truth of the news story (Hnition & Hjorth, 2013). Citizen journalists do not need to follow the codes and the rules of the professional journalism, it will lead to the citizen journalists do not working on their writing work (Hnition & Hjorth, 2013). However, the advantage of citizen journalism is that they can report the in time news story for the public which is the short of the professional journalists.

The theory in Photofilm campaign

Photofilm is a brand for the photography and film shooting, so this is also my social media campaign in this semester. The main campaign is on Facebook, owing to that Facebook occupies the most users in the whole social media sites. Photofilm provides the platform for the audiences that they have interest in photography and film shooting. So some consumers also created content about photography or film, which are not only focus on the skills level, but also has the commentary about camera, film and image. The interaction between Photofilm and audiences is pretty well, the participation of users has been achieved in Photofilm. User created content (UCC) has been developed in Photofilm social media campaign. Moreover, some users become kind of citizen journalists, they will post something about photo and film to share with others and the firm. Some of the news from citizen journalists still have valuable information.During the exchange information, users can get more knowledge of this filed. Likewise, Photofilm will share some other news from other platform news in order to discuss with users, and will share story and news created by users in order to encourage their passion to interact. Photofilm also establish an activity, many users who have interest in photography, users can communicate with others offline, which can improve the interaction between firm and users into an intimate relationships with other strangers or friends.



In conclusion, nowadays, social media sites already occupy the significant part in our daily life, many users use social media not only communicating with friends and families, but also obtain the information and news. Users play an important role in social media sites, as “produser” means the users act as a producer in the social media sites. As a result, to be a successful social media campaign, users interaction take a great part. However, users is not the only one determining factor of social media campaign, in time communication is another factor affect the successful social media campaign.

Reference list

boyd, d. (2012). Participating in the Always-On Lifestyle. In M. Mandiberg (Ed.), The Social Media Reader (pp. 71-76). New York: New York University Press.

Bruns, A. (2008). Blogs, Wikipedia, Second Life, and beyond: From production to produsage (Vol. 45). Peter Lang.

Duggan, M., Ellison, N. B., Lampe, C., Lenhart, A., & Madden, M. (2015). Social media update 2014. Pew Research Center19.

Hinton, S., & Hjorth, L. (2013). Understanding social media. London: Sage.

Kaplan, A. M., & Haenlein, M. (2010). Users of the world, unite! The challenges and opportunities of Social Media. Business horizons53(1), 59-68.

Meikle, G., & Redden, G. (2010). News online: Transformations and continuities. London: Palgrave.

Vickery, G., & Wunsch-Vincent, S. (2007). Participative web and user-created content: Web 2.0 wikis and social networking. Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).


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