PurposeThe paper seeks to discuss how traditional knowledge refining processes differ from those enabled by using social media applications. By addressing the topic with practical examples the paper aims to outline how collaborative work setting and social media tools are used in refining unstructured and unmanaged knowledge for value adding purposes.Design/methodology/approachThe paper is a conceptual analysis with reflections on current practices.FindingsThe paper proposes that the collaborative setting provided by social media applications enables sharing of different insights: combining mutual insights as well as discussing conflicting insights helps to form a more multifaceted and truthful understanding on issues. Utilizing social media applications as collaborative tools also enriches information as it can also contain elements that are not predestined as in common business information systems. Social media applications empower employees to collaborate and contribute to intra‐organizational information flows in a more informal manner. In addition to factual information insights to it can be shared and discussed.Originality/valueThe paper studies the idea of social media, as well as social media tools, from different perspectives, such as leisure or user perspectives or context. However, interest has increased toward usability of such tools also in working or business contexts. The paper points out that social media applications can aid collaboration and informal participation and thus leverage refining of information and knowledge.

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