Social Media empowers people by providing them a platform to communicate views and thoughts instantly. Hence, the Indian social media scene represents a fast-emerging and influential domain of information exchange involving 143 million users in the country. The rising significance of social media in India is demonstrated by the fact that almost all the conventional media have registered their presence on the social networking websites, especially Facebook and Twitter which dominate the scene; along with Flicker, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, which are not too far behind.

Social Media has become the most promising tool for development and empowerment in the recent years, world over to promote vision, purpose, and activities; spread news; build support; attract volunteers and donors; and engage with interested segments of the population.

As internet connectivity spreads, and cell phone usage spreads even further, there are millions of new potential content creators gaining access to social media each year. More social media contents aimed at development purposes are being created. Consequently, social media is fast becoming an important tool for the marginalized populations to voice their concerns and needs.

The first Social Media for Empowerment Award was launched in 2013 by Digital Empowerment Foundation in partnership with American Center, Delhi, to felicitate and encourage innovative use of social media for development in South Asia. The second edition was launched in 2014 and It had received a great response from 8 South Asian Countries in categories such as; Women Empowerment, Community Mobilization; Social Commerce and Enterprise; Communication, Advocacy & Development Activism; Crowd funding; Citizen Journalism; Public Relations; Social games and Entertainment; Social Apps.

However, we are not about to rest on our past laurels. DEF has launched the third Social Media for Empowerment Summit and Awards, 2016(SM4E) on 25th August, 2015, for which the nominations are now open. Applicants are requested to submit their nomination forms by 31st  of December, 2015.