The concept of ‘social networks’ was not born as a result of new technological environment, but is a term associated with social and human character and behavior derived from a social being par excellence: the human.
The need for communication and socialization of humans has found in the media a basic pillar of support. By using the media, individuals are constantly informed of what is happening around them, which allows them to share their concerns or opinions with other beings.
Whiting and Williams (2013) assert that what people find on social networks is closely related to the Uses and Gratification theory explanation. Originally this theory, firstly proposed by Katz, Blumler and Gurevitch (1973) steered attention to “what is the individual doing with the media?” instead of “what is the impact that the media has on the individual?” that theories like Agenda Setting or Spiral of Silence propose (Igartua and Humanes, 2010:313).
The role of the media as an important daily tool is not new. Scholars and researchers have been studying it for ages. However, media in the digital era has created a new research field. It should not be forgotten that cyberspace also covers the need for contact with the outside world, the inner world of each individual. It should also be noted that online social networks are based on the real world, where the goal is simply to communicate with, and express feelings to, other people.
This paper will highlight the relationship between social networks, the media and the audience. So, this literature review has a double purpose from two different viewpoints: the users and the media. On the one hand, from the audience’s perspective, to show how audiences deal with social networks and on the other hand, from the media point of view, the focus will be on the strategies that news companies carry out within social media.