Social media has become an increasingly important aspect of our lives; we use it to communicate with our friends and family. Plus, it helps us keep up to date with the latest news and gossip. Also, it’s also a crucial tool used by businesses across the world. Earlier this year, we asked the question, who owns social media? Here are some more information and a video we created…
Social media in our everyday lives
We tend to spend a lot of time social media, in fact on average, it accounts for 3 hours of our day. Whether browsing our newsfeeds for funny cat memes and our friends’ moany status updates, trawling Twitter for the latest celebrity gossip or chatting to family and friends, social media is an unavoidable and important part of modern life. Plus, increasingly, many online deals and voucher codes can only be accessed via a social media outlet.
Nowadays, we don’t have to wait for news to trickle in via the official channels; Tweets, YouTube videos, blog posts and Facebook statuses can break a story immediately – before the traditional media has had a chance to send their reporters in. This gives us access to news events which might not have seen the light of day. A great example of this was the Arab Springs, 5 years ago, which a study found social media played a pivotal role in coverage of the event which unfolded before our computer screens.
So it’s an important part of our lives but who owns Social Media?
The majority of social media platforms are controlled by just five companies. Plus, new and popular social media start-ups tend to get eaten up by these companies, meaning just a handful of corporations hold a large portion of influence and power, which affects our everyday lives. So who are they?
1) Facebook the largest social network was founded in 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg. Now worth over $190billion, in just over ten years, Facebook has grown a vast user base of over 1.07 billion active monthly users. Recent acquisitions, Instagram and WhatsApp bolstered this number by 200 million and 600 million users respectively, bringing Facebook’s total monthly users to nearly 1.9 billion.
2) Google is another company with multiple social media outlets; the search engine behemoth also owns Google +, its social network, and YouTube, which it acquired in 2006. Together these bring the total of active monthly users to 1.54 billion,
3) Yahoo, the Google contender, has owned Flickr since 2006 but only acquired Tumblr in 2013. Tumbler has 161 million users, a mere drop in the ocean in comparison to Facebook and Google.
4) Microblogging website Twitter, founded in 2006, has a respectable following of 271 million active monthly users. The first ever Tweet was sent by co-founder Jack Dorsey on March 21, 2006
5) Business social network l LinkedIn has 187 million active monthly users globally and is one of the largest smaller scale social networking websites. Linked in was actually one of the first social networks, having been launched a year before Facebook in 2003.
So what’s next?
Now, much the population has access to a digital camera via our smartphones, the future seems to be very much about image sharing. Proof of this is the rise of newcomers Pinterest and We Heart It. But there also seems to be a new generation of social media, catering for the 16-25 age group who have moved away from the more mainstream options Facebook, Google+ and Twitter to sites like Snapchat, Ask FM and Kik Messenger. Perhaps to avoid those embarrassing parental comments and adds.