What is Social Media Intelligence?

Social media sites provide a wealth of useful information and offer many opportunities for investigation. For example, just by browsing someone's social media information on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, etc., you can get a lot of personal information about anyone around the world. Such personal information often includes a person's interactions on Facebook, political opinions, religion, background, country of origin, personal images and videos, home and work addresses, frequently visited places, social activities, work history, education, dates of important events (date of birth, date of graduation, date of leaving or starting a new job) and social interactions. It can all be found on someone's Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. social media profiles.

What is Social Media Intelligence?

Social Media Intelligence (SOCMINT) is a branch of Open Source Intelligence (OSINT), which refers to data/intelligence/information collected from social media sites of individuals or organizations. Information available on social media sites may be available in the public domain (public posts on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn) or private to users. Private information such as content shared with private friends (private posts, comments, events, etc.) cannot be retrieved without the user's prior permission.

Information about social media can be divided into two broad categories:

1. Original content posted by users: posts on social media, uploaded images/videos, pages, likes, comments, mentions, retweets, etc.

2. Metadata associated with original content: multimedia file metadata, date, time, and geographic location information associated with published content.