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What is Interactive New Media?

By G. Melanson
Updated May 16, 2024
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Interactive new media is a type of technology that can be integrated with other technologies to allow its users greater connectivity. While most types of new media are integrative by nature, they display varying levels of interactivity. For example, a product such as an iPhone® allows users to browse the Internet, listen to music, and interact through various applications in addition to calling and texting — making it an interactive new media product. An online virtual world such as Second Life™ is also a type of interactive new media, allowing users to communicate as well as buy, sell, trade and rent virtual goods with other users.

One of the most popular hubs for interactive new media is the social networking site Facebook™. Facebook™’s style of interactivity functions on a viral level, allowing members to instantly share applications, videos, and updates from other social media such as Twitter™, Blogger™, and YouTube™. Facebook™ users also have the ability to connect to the site via special applications for interactive new media such as the iPhone® and BlackBerry®. Facebook™ occasionally interacts with its members by asking their opinions on the site or on other topics by taking a brief, one-question survey on its main page.

Acquired by Google™ in 2006, YouTube™ is another service which has made great strides in interactive new media. In addition to allowing its users to upload and comment on one another’s videos, it also features sharing properties which allow videos to be embedded or posted directly on other sites. In order to make its videos compatible across the latest social media platforms, YouTube™ features links on its site which allow users to post a video directly to their Facebook™ and MySpace™ accounts.

Microsoft has integrated several interactive new media capabilities into its portfolio of services and products over the years. The home page for Microsoft Network (MSN®) acts as a portal to its other services, including Hotmail® and MSN® Messenger. Whereas MSN® Messenger was once only available to Hotmail® members for chatting, it has expanded in recent years to allow users to share files, use webcams, and play games.

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