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The Definitive List of Social Media Acronyms and Abbreviations, Defined

Social Media Marketing Agency

The Definitive List of Social Media Acronyms and Abbreviations, Defined

By my friend KEVAN LEE, collated and curated by John G Dryden in an update.

27 Dec, 2016

My wife just asked my daughter what triangle plus boobs meant; on social media? <3 

This actually means love heart so this got me thinking, time to post some acronym meanings up for friends and followers.

For years I have been engrossed in the fact that my native industry of advertising uses more acronyms that I can poke a stick at.

Our social media shorthand is amazingly extensive. We have acronyms and abbreviations for not only the marketing terms that we use but also the way that we chat back and forth with one another. I thought it’d be great to share some that seem to come up quite often.
I’ve collected over 140 social media acronyms and abbreviations and placed them here in this post, complete with definitions and quick navigation to help you find the terms you’re interested in. Let me know if there are others that you’ve noticed that didn’t make this list!
social media acronyms abbreviations
Take the social media acronym quiz!
In creating this post, I quickly put together a short and sweet quiz on some of the terms that appear in the glossary here. Test your knowledge to see which acronyms you know and which you might learn!
How to navigate the social media glossary
Jump to any letter:
A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z
View the index of acronyms & abbreviations:
Topic: Social media marketing

Topic: Social media communication
AFAIK – As far as I know
Ex. “AFAIK, there are no peanuts in a Milky Way bar.”
AIDA – Attention, Interest, Desire, Action
This copywriting formula helps devise a list of events that a reader can take toward converting. It’s particularly effective in website copy, online ads, email, blog posts, and social media updates.

Learn more: 27 copywriting formulas to drive clicks and engagement on social media
AMA – Ask Me Anything
These initials can be used in social media updates as an open call for questions, and the acronym is also quite popular as a recurring question-and-answer series on Reddit, featuring experts and/or well-known names in a huge variety of fields.
Ex. “I’m doing an AMA on Reddit tomorrow at 3pm ET all about space travel!”
API – Application Programming Interface
Have you ever wondered how your favorite app connects to so another of your much-loved services? Buffer, for instance, uses the Twitter API to schedule and post tweets. In general, an API outlines the specifics of software applications, telling components how they should act on an interface.
Learn more: Zapier’s introduction to APIs
ASL – Age/Sex/Location
Often used in getting to know one another.
Ex. “Great to meet you! ASL?”
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b/c, bc – Because
Ex. “I’m late b/c traffic.
B2B – Business-to-business
Companies that focus on selling goods and services to other companies. An enterprise analytics tool, for instance, would be a B2B product. Often times you may see marketing strategies and statistics broken up between B2B and B2C because some of the tactics and tips may differ based on this distinction.
B2C – Business-to-consumer
Companies that focus on selling to consumers. A clothing retailer, for instance, would be a B2C company.
B4 – Before
Ex. “Ask Alice. She got there B4 me.”
BAE – Before Anyone Else
Used as a term of endearment for someone you care about.
Ex. “My BAE and I are staying in tonight.”
BFF – Best Friends Forever
Ex. “Troy and Abed are total BFFs!”
BRB – Be right back
Ex. “brb, making nachos.”
BTAIM – Be that as it may
For use in arguments and discussions online.
Ex. “BTAIM, I still prefer comments on blog posts.”
BTW – By the way
Ex. “captaindan is not my real name BTW.”
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CAN-SPAM – Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act
This law was passed in 2003 in the United States in hopes of cutting down on unsolicited email. Per the rules of CAN-SPAM, there is a lengthy list of requirements that businesses or individuals must comply with when sending out email—items like providing the ability to unsubscribe, including a physical mailing address, and no misleading subject lines.
Learn more: Email marketing’s most frequently asked questions
CC – Carbon copy
On social media, CC has the same usage as the CC on your emails: to make sure that a Twitter user sees your Tweet, used with the @ mention and their Twitter handle.
Ex. “Amazing new insights into digital marketing: bit.ly/link cc: @hnshah”
CMGR – Community manager
Often, this person is helpful in engaging with the community on social media, forums, and meetups. The social media manager job description has a lot of crossover with a community manager.
Learn more: A day in the life of a social media manager
CMS – Content Management System
A CMS is software used to organize, edit, and publish content. WordPress is the CMS we use for the Buffer blog. Ghost is another popular blogging platform that could be used as a CMS.
CPC – Cost per click
In online advertising, cost-per-click refers to the price paid by an advertiser who is charged every time someone clicks on an ad (rather than every time the ad is shown). The cost-per-click is the dollar amount that the advertiser pays for each click.
CPM – Cost per thousand
In comparison to cost-per-click, cost-per-thousand is based on the impressions (views) of an ad. In CPM, the advertiser is charged for every 1,000 impressions of an ad. Fun fact: The “M” in CPM stands for “Mille,” which is the roman numeral name for 1,000 (in case you were wondering why it’s CPM instead of CPT).
CR – Conversion rate
CR is the number of people who take an action, divided by the number of people who could have. For example, if you have 100 visits to your landing page and 25 people click the button, the button has a 25 percent conversion rate.
Learn more: How to boost the conversion rate on your marketing content
CRM – Customer Relationship Management
CRM is a way of managing the interaction and communication between your business and its leads or customers. In certain ways, CRM is like an address book with super powers. Salesforce is one of the leading CRM providers online.
CSS – Cascading stylesheet
This code language gives websites their look. The layout, colors, fonts, borders, spacing, and all other visual elements of a website occur because of the styles declared in CSS.
CTA – Call-to-action
The word or phrase that’s used to tell people what to do. Click here. Buy now. Learn more. Join us.
CTR – Clickthrough rate
Like conversion rate, this measures the amount of people who took an action—in the case of CTR, the action is a click—divided by the number of people who could have. In email marketing, for instance, CTR describes the rate at which people clicked on a link in an email, taking into consideration the number of people who received the email.
CX – Customer experience
The sum of all experiences a customer has with you. This could involve interactions with your product, your website, your customer support, or your social media.
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DAE – Does anyone else … ?
Ex. “DAE have an invite code for Google Inbox?”
DFTBA – Don’t forget to be awesome
Ex. “Good luck in your interview! DFTBA!”
DM – Direct Message
This refers to messages received in your private Twitter inbox.
Ex. “I’d love to connect! Can you DM me your email address?”
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ELI5 – Explain like I’m 5 (years old)
This one is often seen on Reddit. It’s used to ask for a simple explanation to a complex topic.
Ex. “ELI5, how does wind work?”
ESP – Email service provider
A program or software that allows you to send emails. MailChimp, for instance, is an ESP, and some large companies have their own ESPs for sending bulk email.
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F2F – Face to face
Ex. “Let’s chat F2F instead of skype.”
FaTH – First and Truest Husband
This doesn’t necessarily refer to one’s actual husband but rather anyone you feel a particular bond toward.
Ex. “This relationship has been so incredible, you’ll always be my FaTH.”
FB – Facebook
FBF – Flashback Friday
A theme where you share an old picture or status from back in the day, FBF is often represented in hashtag form (and it’s quite similar to another weekly meme, Throwback Thursday).
FBO – Facebook official
This term refers to one’s relationship status on Facebook. When you’re FBO, you’ve set your status on Facebook to “In a relationship.” Along with signifying the start of a relationship, these initials can also be a way of stating that you won’t believe something until you see it online.
Ex. “I got a new car! It’s FBO! (picture)”
FF – Follow Friday
A trend that began on Twitter, Follow Friday lets you share the names of other Twitter users whom you think your followers should follow.
Ex. “FF: @leowid @courtneyseiter @nmillerbooks #buffer”
FOMO – Fear of Missing Out
FOMO describes a type of social anxiety where you feel that if you miss an opportunity you might miss out on something great. FOMO comes into play quite often with social media where some people are compelled to stay connected so they never miss a big moment.
FTFY – Fixed that for you
A simple shorthand response when someone corrects someone else online.
Ex. “Salem, not Portland, is the capital of Oregon. FTFY.”
FTW – For the win!
A jubilant exclamation, and sometimes used in jest or sarcastically.
Ex. “Churros, FTW!”
FUTAB – Feet up, take a break
Ex. “Just sent his week’s newsletter! FUTAB. :)”
FYI – For your information
Ex. “FYI, my Macbook Air smells like fresh popcorn!”
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G+ – Google+
G2G – Got to to
Ex. “Talk to you later! G2G!”
GA – Google Analytics
Google Analytics is the tool created by Google to help you track your website traffic. We use Google Analytics here at Buffer to pull reports on our most popular content and set goals for conversions of Buffer blog readers to Buffer app customers.
Learn more: The Marketer’s Guide to Google Analytics
GG – Good game
Ex. “That was fun! GG! Let’s do it again some time soon. :)”
Gr8 – Great
Ex. “Gr8 stuff! RT @buffer Check out our new transparency dashboard full of resources!”
GTG – Got to go
GTR – Got to run
Ex. “Sorry to cut today’s chat short! GTR!”
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HBD – Happy birthday
Ex. “My best friend is turning 30 today! HBD @annief!”
HMB – Hit me back
HMU – Hit me up
Ex. “Let’s chat this week. HMB on my cell.”
HT – Hat tip
A hat tip is a way for users to give thanks or acknowledgement to other users. It refers to the practice of tipping one’s hat toward a person out of gratitude. You see HT a lot in association with shared content, along with “via,” “by,” and “cc.” In some cases, HT can also refer to “Heard Through,” which provides a similar meaning to Hat Tip.
Ex. “51 of the Best Writing Articles bit.ly/link HT: @redman”
HTH – Here to help / Happy to help
Ex. “Anyone need help figuring out the Facebook News Feed? HTH.”
HTML – Hyper Text Markup Language
HTML is the coding language used to build webpages and any other information viewable on the web. HTML is the foundation and the frame of every website you visit. CSS adds the color and layout to the page.
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IANAD – I am not a doctor
Ex. “Whoa, sounds like strep throat! IANAD :)”
IANAL – I am not a lawyer
Ex. “IANAL, but it seems like you’ve got a pretty good case there!”
ICYMI – In case you missed it
This one can be used when resharing something from earlier or in a “things you should know today” format. You might find it often in recap-type posts and updates.
Ex. “ICYMI, the Buckeyes won the national championship! #gobucks”
IDC – I don’t care
Ex. “Raining today. IDC.”
IDK – I don’t know
Ex. “Super tough test today! Our 14th president? IDK. ¯_(ツ)_/¯”
IG – Instagram
IKR – I know, right?
Ex. “ikr RT: @vimeo The most amazing announcement ever. Gotta see this video.”
ILY – I love you
IM – Instant message
Popular instant messaging apps like AOL Instant Messenger predate the more modern social networks like Facebook and Twitter. Some social networks still have built-in instant messaging features. Facebook Chat is perhaps the most well-known (and widely used) version of IM still around.
IMHO – In my humble opinion
IMO – In my opinion
Ex. “I’m not sure it’s a good idea to eat and drive at the same time, IMHO.”
IO – Insertion order
Used in advertising and marketing environments, an insertion order is a written contract between an advertiser and an ad agency or media rep, often used for print or broadcast ads. Typical IOs include air date and time, number of times for the ad to be shown, and costs.
IRL – In real life
This phrase is often used to distinguish between interactions and events that happen online versus the real world.
Ex. “Huge fan of @guy! We met IRL a few years back. :)”
ISP – Internet service provider
Who do you pay for Internet? This is your ISP. Comcast is the largest ISP in the United States.
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JK – Just kidding
Ex. “I’m king of the world! JK.”
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KPI – Key Performance Indicator
KPIs are the benchmarks and goals that are most important for your business. They help you determine how well your campaigns and strategies are performing. Social media KPIs could be the amount of engagement or shares you’re receiving on your profiles. You could also track clicks and conversions back to your website via social.
Learn more: Which Stats Matter on Social Media
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L8 – Late
Ex. “Running L8! See you in 15. :)”
LI – LinkedIn
LMAO – Laughing my a** off
Ex. “Camping was in tents/intense! LMAO!”
LMK – Let me know
Ex. “Anyone interested in chatting about small biz marketing? LMK. kevan at bufferapp.com”
LMS – Like my status
You might see this acronym appear on tweets or Facebook posts, asking those who read it to give the post a like. It’s also an acronym for “Learning Management System,” software for online education courses.
Ex. “Got the new iPhone! So stoked! LMS.”
LOL – Laughing out loud
LOLz – Laughing out loud (plural/sarcastic)
Lolz is the plural of LOL, but instead of having an “s,” people write it with a “z”. Some say that LOLz means you’re laughing out loud sarcastically.
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MCM – Man crush Monday
This acronym refers to a weekly trend where users mention or post photos about a man whom they like or admire.
MM – Music Monday
Music Monday was originally used to share the music you were listening to that day. It’s no longer as popular of an abbreviation as it used to be.
MT – Modified tweet
Modified tweets occur when a user is attempting to manually retweet but the tweet is too long and you have to modify the original tweet. The issues with length can occur if you’re trying to add your own commentary to an already-long tweet.
Ex. “Incredible resources here! MT: @unbounce The Ultimate Guide to Landing Pages That Work”
MTFBWY – May the force be with you
A reference to the Star Wars movies, this abbreviation is used when someone is sending words of encouragement or motivation to another user.
Ex. “Finals this week! MTFBWY @amyjones!”
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NM – Not much
Ex. “What are you up to?” “NM.”
NSFL – Not safe for life
NSFW – Not safe for work
NSFW means that a link, photo, video, or text contains graphic or inappropriate content for the workplace.
Ex. “New movie trailer for The Hangover (some NSFW language)”
NVM – Never mind
Ex. “Ha, I thought all day that this was a Saturday. LOL. NVM.”
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OAN – On another note
Ex. “@andydwer That makes sense. OAN, where’d you get your cool cover photo? :)”
OH – Overheard
Ex. “OH: The show is standing room only tonight.”
OMG – Oh my God
Ex. “OMG! I can’t believe how great this new app is. :)”
OMW – On my way
Ex. “OMW. See you in a few!”
OOTD – Outfit of the day
This social media meme has people sharing which outfit they’re wearing that day. Popular on Instagram, OOTD often will appear as a hashtag.
Ex. “New shirt. New pants. #OOTD”
OP – Original poster
Ex. “OP stated it best in her original question.”
ORLY – Oh really?!
Like LOLz, this abbreviation can be used sarcastically as well as seriously.
Ex. “ORLY? RT @kevanlee Firecrackers aren’t made from crackers.”
OTP – One true pairing
This refers to two people or characters that you feel are meant for each other.
Ex. “Lady and the Tramp are my OTP.”
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P2P – Person to person, or peer to peer
Similar to F2F, this abbreviation can refer to an in-person meeting, as opposed to an online get together. Also, P2P can come up in a business arena as a way of distinguishing a type of network, tool, meeting, or event.
POTD – Photo of the day
Popular on Instagram, this abbreviation often appears as a hashtag for those who want to show off their best photo of the day.
Ex. “Check out this sunset! #POTD”
PPC – Pay per click
In online advertising, pay-per-click is when an advertiser pays based on the number of times their ad is clicked. This is also known as cost-per-click (CPC, mentioned above). Google’s ads are perhaps the most common type of PPC avaialble.
PM – Private message
Ex. “Send me a PM! :)”
PPL – People
Ex. “Tons of PPL here. This place is packed!”
PR – PageRank, or Public relations
PageRank refers to an element of the Google ranking algorithm that assigns your webpage a numerical value from 0 to 10 based on the number and quality of links to the page. In this way, PageRank is hoping to measure the quality of the page itself.
Learn more: The Complete Beginner’s Guide to SEO
PV – Pageviews
One of the most widely-used metrics in Google Analytics and web traffic tracking, pageviews refers to the number of times a user visits a webpage. Unique pageviews goes a step further and counts only the pageviews of unique individuals (for example, if Tom visited a page three times and Amy visited once, pageviews would be four, and the unique pageviews would be two).
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QOTD – Quote of the Day
Used for sharing a funny or interesting quote, QOTD will often appear in a hashtag following the quote.
Ex. “You will get everything you want in life if you help other people get what they want. – Zig Ziglar #QOTD”
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ROFL – Rolling on the floor laughing
ROFLMAO – Rolling on the floor laughing my a** off
Most often used with the simple ROFL, this abbreviation comes as a response to something really funny, to a greater degree than a LOL.
Ex. “Listening to the new Brian Regan CD! ROFL! This is so great. :)”
ROI – Return on investment
This marketing measurement looks at the amount of profit you make based on the difference between revenue and expenses. In social media marketing, ROI tends to be an elusive metric since revenue can be difficult to measure directly from social. Often times, ROI is extended to include a return in clicks, engagement, or new followers based on the time and resources devoted to a social network.
Ex. It costs $5,000 a year to maintain your website (domain, hosting, copywriting, design fees, etc.), but is generates $20,000/year in revenue. Based on this example your ROI would be 400% ($20,000 divided by $5000).
RSS – Really simple syndication
Many people choose RSS as the way to keep up with the latest blog posts from their favorite blogs, via a feed reader. Feedly is one of the most popular feed readers, letting you pull in content from any site with an RSS feed.
RT – Retweet
Twitter has added native retweets into their app, so whenever you spy an RT in your timeline now, that user has manually added the RT. For best practices, retweets are to begin with “RT @username” followed by the original tweet. You can add your own commentary before or after.
Ex. “Must read. RT @intercom A New Way to Onboard.”
RTD – Real-time data
Certain social media dashboards and website tracking tools measure data in real-time. For instance, Chartbeat can tell you how many visitors are on your website this moment, including which pages they’re on and how they’re interacting with your site. This real-time data can be super interesting to see as well as valuable to help optimize your content and web pages.
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SaaS – Software as a service
SaaS companies provide services via software either online or downloaded to your computer. For instance, Buffer is an SaaS company.
SEM – Search engine marketing
SEM refers to the way that companies and brands promote their website within search engines. The two main elements of SEM are paid advertising and search engine optimization.
SEO – Search engine optimization
SEO refers to the practice of optimizing a website so that it ranks highly in search engine result pages. Some key elements of SEO are content, keywords, headlines, meta information, backlinks, and site structure/speed.
Learn more: The Complete Beginner’s Guide to SEO
SERP – Search engine results page
This is the page you see when you perform a search.
SFW – Safe for work
The SFW abbreviation is sometimes used on content that seems like it may be NSFW but is actually quite non-offensive.
Ex. “Loved the new music video from Nicki Minaj! (SFW, btw)!”
SM – Social media
SMB – Small business
SMH – Shaking my head
This abbreviation signifies both something embarrassing and something with which the user might disagree.
Ex. “Mustard on my tie, again. SMH.”
SMM – Social media marketing
SMO – Social media optimization
Often used synonymously, these two terms refer to the process of getting the most out of social media for your business or brand.
Learn more: Buffer’s favorite social media tips
SMP – Social media platform
Social media platforms may include sites like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Instagram.
SoLoMo – Social, Local, Mobile
This refers to a localized and mobile-centric version of search engine results. SoLoMo takes advantage of a phone or tablet’s GPS technologies to deliver a user experience (search results, notifications, etc.) based on location.
SOV – Share of voice
Share of Voice is the percentage of all the online content/conversations about your company compared to the content/conversations about your competitors. You might think of it as a form of online market share. Tools like Social Mention can help in discovering your Share of Voice.
Learn more: 4 Ways to Increase Share of Voice
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TBH – To be honest
Ex. “I’ve yet to see the appeal of snuggies, TBH.” 
TBT – Throwback Thursday
Often used as a hashtag, TBT is when users share a photo from their past, often baby photos or, in the case of companies, photos from their early years.
Ex. “Here’s the first version of our logo! Wow, it’s come a long way! #TBT”
TGIF – Thank goodness it’s Friday
Ex. “Been a long week. TGIF!”
Thx – Thanks
Ex. “Big thx to @moz for hosting an awesome conference this week!”
TIL – Today I learned
Ex. “TIL how tax credits work.”
TL;DR – Too Long; Didn’t Read
This abbreviation may appear in a comment, post, or tweet, where the user is mentioning they weren’t able to completely read an article because of its length. Also, some articles or notes may include this abbreviation in lieu of a summary heading.
Ex. “tl;dr RT @cnn The Full Transcript from the State of the Union Address.”
TMI – Too much information
Ex. “TMI RT @mashable The Percentage of People who Use Social Media in the Bathroom.”
TOS – Terms of Service
Terms of service are the legal notices for browsing a website or using an app.
TTYL – Talk to you later
TTYN – Talk to you never
TTYS – Talk to you soon
Ex. “#bufferchat was awesome! TTYL, everyone!”
Txt – Text
Ex. “Looking forward to the conference. Send me a txt when you get there!”
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UGC – User generated content
This refers to all the different types of content—articles, updates, comments, videos, photos, etc.—that are produced by a site’s users. For instance, all the great presentations on SlideShare are UGC.
UI – User interface
User interface is the aspects of a website or product with which the user interacts with directly. To use an analogy, user interface is the saddle, the stirrups, and the reins. In an app like Buffer, the user interface is the buttons, the composer windows, the screen and mouse and keyboard.
Learn more: UI vs. UX: What’s the Difference?
URL – Uniform Resource Locator
A URL is the web address for a specific page. The URL for the Buffer blog is https://blog.bufferapp.com. You can see the URL for any web page by looking in the address bar at the top of your browser window.
UV – Unique visitor
A unique visitor is an individual website visitor who is counted only once in the traffic stats, regardless of how many times they visit or pages they view.
UX – User experience
User experience describes the way a user feels when using a website or a product. It’s the sum of the user’s experiences. To use an analogy, it would be like the feeling you get riding a horse (as opposed to the horse, the stirrups, the saddle themselves).
Learn more: UI vs. UX: What’s the Difference?
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Used to refer to someone on social media, “via” often comes in to play when referencing a site that published a piece of content.
Ex. “All the Latest #SM Tools and Tips bit.ly/link via @buffer”
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w/ – With
WBU – What about you?
Ex. “I’m going to Social Media Marketing World this year. WBU?”
WCW – Woman crush Wednesday
Like Man crush Monday, Woman crush Wednesday is a chance for social media users to share an update or a photo with reference to a woman they like or admire.
WDYMBT – What do you mean by that?
Ex. “WDYMBT @kevanlee?”
WOM – Word of mouth
Another way to think about this is “sentiment.” What are people saying about your brand or product? Word of mouth has some huge implications for growth, and it spreads even faster as social media expands as a medium.
WOTD – Word of the Day
WOTD is a fun way to share a new word that you’ve picked up (and like many on the list, it could also be used sarcastically).
Ex. “Pandiculation – feeling stiff when you wake up from a nap. #WOTD”
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YMMV – Your mileage may vary
In other words, “your opinion might be different.”
Ex. “IMHO, POTUS’ SOTU was great, but YMMV”
YOLO – You only live once
This abbreviation is usually preceded by or in reference to something someone did that was brave, foolish, or spontaneous.
Ex. “Signed up for bungee jumping! #YOLO”
YSK – You should know
Ex. “YSK there’s a really cool convo happening in the comments at @idonethis blog.”
YT – YouTube
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Further reading
This list of acronyms and abbreviations is far from complete. If there’s something you’ve found on social media that isn’t covered here, I’d love to add it to the list!
And if you’re curious for more, here are some links to several helpful articles about social media acronyms and abbreviations. One of my favorites is a report by the FBI that detailed out a huge list of social media acronyms. Their report is 83 pages long!
Daily Mail’s list of social media abbreviations

Social Media Today’s list of Twitter abbreviations

SteamFeed’s list of social media acronyms

Vertical Responses’s digital marketing acronyms guide

All Acronyms social media guide

Image sources: Blurgrounds, The Noun Project, 


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