Isn't Social Media just another web application?

Why is social media always broken out into it's only special entity? When I look at Facebook, Twitter or Linkedin I only see a piece of software that facilitates a specific set of functions (communication), just like any other piece of software (e.g. Email, text messaging, instant messaging, etc.). I guess the problem I have is that clients and people not familiar with software development want to treat social media as something different from a web site or application. And by treating it as something different, I find that expectations, understand and rationale often gets thrown out the window. I will agreed that social media platforms are unique in that they have made it easier to connect and communication more easily. But isn't that what the telephone did too? So why are we approaching differently in terms of strategy, design and development?