The Variations of Mass Media & Social Media

Mass Media networks and Social Media are interconnected, but they are not interchangeable. These are two very different concepts with one thing in common – the spreading of information, which is the primary goal of both media.

The audience of today is associated with both mass media networks and social media. They resort to both of these mediums of communication to be cognizant and informed. Among other differences, the sources and types of information shared on both media vary notably.

What is Mass Media?

Mass Media network refers to all the platforms that attain a mass audience. It’s a medium of communication to outreach a vast audience, i.e the general public. They relay real time crucial information to the public keeping them well informed and up to speed on what’s happening in the world.

Mass Media technologies apprise the public of –

  • The political issues
  • Social issues
  • Technological developments
  • Daily news
  • Entertainment
  • Other current news regarding all that’s proceeding in the universe.

The two types of mass media networks and the platforms they cater to are –

1. Print Media – Newspapers, Magazines, Pamphlets, etc.
2. Broadcast Media – Television, Radio, Films, etc.

One key characteristic of Mass Media is that it instigates one-way communication. The general public receives information, but there is no way for them to share direct feedback on that information. Mass media is considered one of the more fair and impartial forms of communication with the audience.

Many companies have employed mass media networks in their favour and have gotten and continue to get impeccable results.

The sales methods used by brands to promote their products and services via mass media network include –

  • Print Advertisements,
  • Direct Mail Advertisements,
  • Television Advertisements,
  • Radio Advertisements,
  • Banner Advertisements,
  • Door To Door Sales,
  • Billboards, etc.

What is Social Media?

social media

Social Media comprises platforms that allow users to share and create content with people all over the world operating the same platforms. Social media is a great way to maintain existing connections and build new ones. There’s no conspicuous boundary in terms of backgrounds when it comes to social media. It enables the public to connect with the public in any part of the world and model communities that relate to them.

The different types of social media platforms are –

  1. Media Sharing Networks – Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube, Twitter, etc
  2. Discussion Forums – Quora, Reddit, etc.
  3. Content Curation Networks – Pinterest, Flipboard, etc.
  4. Blogging & Publishing Networks – Tumblr, Word press, etc.

Audiences can share their thoughts, opinions, photos, and videos on these platforms.

The conception of social media brought with it another impressive concept – social media marketing. Social media marketing is bringing success to brands in ways that would never have been possible before. Brands use social media marketing to expand their reach, increase sales, and drive traffic to their website. Social media marketing can be employed for any and every objective of the brand.

In this type of marketing, brands can get instant feedback from their audiences via comments or messages, keeping the brand up-to-date with customer issues so that it can focus on the best ways to solve them. More than that, the success or failure of social media marketing can be easily tracked at every step of the way to make dynamic decisions regarding marketing.

What is the difference between Mass Media and Social Media?

mass media and social media difference

1. Type of Technology – Mass Media and Social Media differ in their basic definitions. Mass media is a media technology that aims to extend to a mass audience, whereas social media is a computer-based online technology that enables audiences to develop & maintain connections and create & share content.

2. Types of Platforms – Mass media networks have limited platforms whereas social media platforms are more numerous. Print media and broadcast media are the main 2 types of mass media platforms whereas there are numerous social media networks for posting pictures, holding discussions, getting inspirations and ideas, writing journals and blogs.

3. Position of the audience – Speaking of mass media, the general public is only the audience and spectators; they cannot directly contribute, whereas on social media, the audience can easily become the content creators. They can create and share content on social media while sharing opinions and thoughts at the same time.

4. Type of Communication – Mass media works on one-way communication whereas social media enables two-way communication. On social media, the public can express their feedback on the information that’s shared with them, that kind of power doesn’t exist on mass media platforms.

5. Scope – The reach of social media has significantly increased over the years and it continues to soar at a great pace. The reach of mass media networks has become lower compared to social media because of the availability of the internet in the remotest parts of the world, making the internet and social media accessible to almost everyone everywhere.


Mass media and social media are two different but highly crucial technologies that are essential for any developing society. While the world remains home to all types of generations, there will always be people who only trust information coming from mass media technologies and refuse to engage in any other technologies. And, with the evolution of social media, it’s safe to say that it’s going to persist for a very long time. Nobody is letting go of social media anytime soon or ever, actually.

About The Author

The Emissary is an intelligent hybrid of Mass Media and Social Media. It’s a global mass media platform where teens can also connect and learn alongside other teens with similar interests. The Emissary comprehends and is also keen on discussing issues concerning youth. The Emissary stands to provide a space for teenagers with a global facet to every aspect, enriching with the imperative exposure leading to highly beneficial experiences.

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