Who owns our social media?

Here we look at the glut of social media sites and their relative standing online.

Social media plays an integral part in many people’s lives; it keeps us connected to friends and family and also up to date on the latest news. So an online voucher website has looked into who owns our social media and how much they control.

People can spend a huge amount of time on social media, in fact social media takes up 3 hours of an average user’s day. So www.myvouchercodes.co.uk have looked into who actually owns the most popular social networking sites and have created an informative infographic to show who controls our social media, how much they are worth and what they make from us.

Related: Why social media should be your business’ top priority

Today a large portion of our social media is controlled by five main companies. With many new and popular social media start-ups being eaten up by these companies, this means that they have a large portion of influence and power in our everyday lives.

Facebook is the biggest social networking business. Founded in 2004, it has over 1.07 billion active monthly users and is worth over $190 billion. Also adding to Facebook’s active monthly users is its recent acquisitions, Instagram and WhatsApp, with 200 million and 600 million users respectively. This takes Facebook’s total controlled monthly users to nearly 1.9 billion.

However Facebook isn’t the only company with dual control over our social media. Search engine giant Google also has a total of 1.54 billion active monthly users, which combines both its Google+ social networking website (UPDATE: As of March 2019 Google+ is now closed) and YouTube users which it purchased way back in 2006. Yahoo, the Google wannabe, who controls Flickr and Tumblr, gains 161 million users, although small in comparison to Facebook and Google. Yahoo acquired Tumblr only last year however they have had control over Flickr since 2005.

Powering ahead in the social media arena is Twitter and LinkedIn. Microblogging website Twitter has 271 million active monthly users, and LinkedIn attracts 187 million active monthly users, no small change for these smaller scale social networking websites. Coming before Facebook was the business orientated social networking site LinkedIn which was launched in 2003. Twitter was founded in 2006 with the first Tweet being sent by co-founder Jack Dorsey on March 21, 2006.

There are also a number of up-and-coming social media websites. Image sharing is hugely popular with all age groups, and has seen the rise of ‘pinning’ and ‘hearting’ websites such as Pinterest and We Heart It. Other sites including Snapchat, Ask FM and Kik Messenger prove popular with the younger generation aged between 16 and 25. This age group has moved away from the likes of Facebook, Google+ and Twitter.

These sites are clocking up an increasing number of monthly active users and are proving very popular with the younger generation, a key audience of any social media company. So much so this year Snapchat was eyed up by the ever acquiring Facebook, however the $3 billion offered was of no interest to Snapchat’s founders who did not want to relinquish to the social media giant and instead wanted to make it on their own.

Mark Pearson of My Voucher Codes says, ‘People rarely think twice about using social networking sites, let alone who actually owns our social media. We have known for a long time that Facebook has dominated, however their growth is also down to their acquisitions and they are not alone, with Google, Twitter and Yahoo buying up start up after start up, they are increasing their control.

He adds, ‘There are plenty of new start-ups heading into the arena, but it’s hard to say whether they will be as popular as Facebook. Of course there have been a number of other social networking websites that have been and gone, some are still used now but cannot compete on the same level as Facebook, Google+, Twitter and LinkedIn. And we will no doubt see many more in future, fade away.’

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