Social media has come a long way since its inception. It began as a simple way for communication as a user would send a basic email to another computer close by. Now, social media has transformed how people consume news and communicate with each other around the world. It has also empowered the masses, which before never had an outlet or an easy way to communicate and organize ideas. Before, top media companies controlled what issues would be covered, and the view that would be expressed. With social media, this idea is turned upside down. Millions of people with the same view can determine what is important and bring attention to the issue. Examples of this include the revolution in Libya, Egypt, Syria, and the Occupy Wall Street movement.

Without social media, these revolutions would not have had the success that they did. These were events that have transformed the world, brought on by the power of the people. Around the world, social media is changing the way businesses interact with customers and market their products. With that said, here are the top social media sites that have transformed the world:

  1. Twitter - For its incredible fast-pace nature, news is spread worldwide in real time. 
  2. Facebook - With a user base of over 500 million, it is easily the largest social network and has a dominant affect on global issues.
  3. YouTube - The site where anyone can be a reporter and have the world be able to view it.
  4. Ushahidi - A site that combines citizen journalism and maps to bring news to people in crisis areas. It was used in Japan after the tsunami and in Mexico and India to monitor elections.

As you can see, social media is a powerful tool and can allow views or ideas to spread almost as quickly as they are thought of. Global movements and digital activism have been made possible due to social media. Businesses, people, and governments around the world are becoming aware of events that have gone unnoticed. Some people have even gone far enough to say that social media is making the world a better place. Social media has helped connect the world in ways never imagined before by allowing individual people to easily express their ideas. After all, a few years ago Thomas Friedman claimed that the third phase of globalization is the empowerment of individuals and social media has seemed to allow just this.

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