Is WhatsApp social media?

Is WhatsApp a connectivity tool or a social medium? A casual chat revealed differing views. I see it as a way to connect, while my friend considers it social media.

Is WhatsApp social media?
Is WhatsApp a messaging tool or is it social media?

To research a bit more I did a poll on Twitter with this question, it turned out exactly half of the audience thought WhatsApp to be a social medium and the other half not! Almost exactly 50/50.

Survey on Twitter/X asking people if they consider WhatsApp is social media. Almost fifty/fifty says yes or no.

Social networking versus Social media

Now I read this interesting and thought-provoking article by Ian Bogost in The Atlantic titled The Age of Social Media Is Ending. And next to a very critical view on social media, he makes a strong separation between Social Networking and Social Media.

And now the misunderstanding on WhatsApp is clearer to me. It started out as Social Networking, but mainly because of groups it evolved to being more like Social Media. This is a really helpful and I flipped sides. I now also see WhatsApp as social media.

The benefit of this knowledge? I can treat WhatsApp as such, change my etiquette and ignore messages in WhatsApp more. Maybe that works for you as well 😄

I attached the article, it is absolutely worth reading.

The Age of Social Media Is Ending
It never should have begun.