Social Media Intelligence (SOCMINT) is a type of Open Source Intelligence (OSINT), which refers to the collection and analysis of data from social media websites. It includes all social media platforms, not only social networking sites. Intelligence is gathered through messengers, image and video-sharing services, microblogging platforms, and social gaming platforms.
Information on social media is either public or private. Private information is more difficult to access as it requires proper permissions from the creator. For example, to be in a circle of friends or a closed group member.
Data on social media divides into three categories:
- User-posted content, like a written post, uploaded image, or video.
- Metadata, like date/time and geolocation associated with posted content.
- Interactions, such as replies, likes, and other forms of reactions.