Social Media English Vocabulary

I recently taught a class about learning English through Social Media and I want to share some of it with you. Below, check out some essential English vocabulary and phrases related to social media.

Social Media Vocabulary

app: Short for “application.” Software for your mobile phone or table (or sometimes computer) that serves a specific function. For example, you likely have the Facebook app on your phone that allows you to access the site. You may also have apps to help you keep track of appointments, log exercise workouts, track your spending, and more.

blog: Originally short for “weblog,” a blog is an informal, online diary. Blogs can range from someone’s daily activities, to their opinions about politics, to fashion, music, film…and anything you can think of!

Blog posts are often shared on social media channels.

crowdsourcing: This is when people unite on social media / the Internet to help raise money or think of ideas to solve a problem. “Crowdfunding” is the specific term for when many people donate small amounts of money online to a cause.

feed: Example: Facebook feed; Twitter feed. The “home” section of a social media network. This is where you see the posts of all of your friends, as well as people and businesses you follow. A common verb used with the action of going through your feed is “to scroll.” “I was scrolling through my feed this morning and saw that Jenny is in New York this week.”

meme: Pictures that have words added to them, usually to be humorous. Memes are often shared on Facebook and Instagram.

Photo by Tracy Le Blanc on

viral: Also “goes/went viral”. This usually refers to a video, but could also refer to a photo or a general post. It means that many people have viewed the post/content and it was shared many times.

Social Media Acronyms (Acronyms are groups of letters that stand for words.)

ICYMI (in case you missed it):  Twitter users especially use this for when they have a popular post that they post again.

“To miss (something)” is to not see it or hear about it yet. “ICYMI, here’s our latest product!”

TL;DR (too long, don’t read): This is written when a post is very long. Often, there will be a short sentence after the “TL;DR.” This sentence is a short summary of the longer text, in case people don’t want to read the entire post.

FOMO (fear of missing out): This is when someone feels envious about the experiences of others they see on social networks. “Jenn had a party last week and I was out of town. I got totally FOMO from looking at all the crazy Instagram posts about it.” 

FBF and TBT (Flashback Friday and Throwback Thursday): These posts usually involve older photos that the poster wants to enjoy again. Normally, the photos are several months or even years old: “FBF to when I started Kindergarten!” But sometimes people jokingly post more recent photos: “TBT to last week when I celebrated my birthday!”

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