Social media has seeped into pretty much every aspect of modern life. The vast social media universe has now come together 3.8 billion users representing approximately 50% of the global population.
With another billion Internet users expected to come online in the coming years, it is possible that the social media universe could expand further.
How the networks stack up
Let’s start by looking at how social networks compare in terms of monthly active users (MAUs) – an industry metric that is widely used to measure the success of these platforms.
|Rank||Social network||MAUs in millions||Country of origin|
|# 1||2,603||🇺🇲 USA|
|# 2||2,000||🇺🇲 USA|
|# 3||Youtube||2,000||🇺🇲 USA|
|# 4||Messenger||1,300||🇺🇲 USA|
|# 5||1,203||🇨🇳 China|
|# 6||1,082||🇺🇲 USA|
|# 7||TikTok||800||🇨🇳 China|
|# 8||694||🇨🇳 China|
|# 9||550||🇨🇳 China|
|# 10||Qzone||517||🇨🇳 China|
|# 11||Save your||430||🇺🇲 USA|
|# 12||Telegram||400||. Russia|
|# 13||Snapchat||397||🇺🇲 USA|
|# 14||367||🇺🇲 USA|
|# 15||326||🇺🇲 USA|
|# 16||310||🇺🇲 USA|
|# 17||Viber||260||🇯🇵 Japan|
|# 18||Line||187||🇯🇵 Japan|
|# 19||YY||157||🇨🇳 China|
|# 20||Rich||140||🇺🇲 USA|
|# 21||Vkontakte||100||. Russia|
Here’s a closer look at individual social platforms and their trials and tribulations:
To put it mildly, Facebook has had its hands full. A host of companies are boycotting Facebook ads while the platform struggles to stave off the spread of misinformation.
Still, the stock price continues to reach new heights, while the traditional economy faces less than rosy forecasts. Facebook still has the largest cohort of users getting closer 3 billion MAU brand – a breakthrough that has yet to be achieved by any company.
Snapchat and founder Evan Spiegel have had an uneven path since their IPO in 2017. The stock price reached its level near $ 4 in 2018, reflecting investors’ concerns related to the introduction of Instagram Stories. In recent times, the stock has passed the $ 20 mark, although there is still long-standing uncertainty about revenue generation and profitability.
YouTube competes fiercely against traditional TVs and streaming programs for eyeballs. The platform raked in a turnover of $ 15.1 billion in 2019 almost doubled their numbers in 2017.
The parent company Alphabet has invested in YouTube with new launches such as YouTube Music (merged with what was once Google Music) and YouTube Premium – a unified subscription-based platform that delivers music, ad-free content and YouTube Originals. With the look of it, the future of YouTube will be much more than just videos.
The largest social platform in China, WeChat has flourished and now has a huge one 1.2 billion MAUs. As part of the Tencent Holdings conglomerate, they belong to the BATX group, which is seen to lock horns with America’s Big Tech.
There has been a whisper of a Reddit IPO on Wall Street for some time now. Although such an event has not yet been realized, Reddit’s success has certainly done so. With 430 million MAUs compared to 330 million in 2018, the company continues to attract a larger audience. The concept of society has taken on a different meaning in the digital age, and Reddit represents this transition with their ever-growing network of users.
Instagram has been crucial to Facebook’s success since the acquisition of 1 billion. Dollar in 2012. The platform attracts a younger audience compared to Facebook, and it has shown an ability to remain versatile, specifically by implementing Instagram Stories and Reels.
Busy schedules don’t seem to disappoint Jack Dorsey, who has not one but two CEO jobs in Twitter and Square. Twitter has been able to achieve profitability for the past two years and reports net income figures on $ 1.2 and $ 1.5 billion in 2018 and 2019. respectively, they have no doubt cut their work out for them as they continue to fight fake news and similar controversies on their platform.
If any advertising is good advertising, 2020 has been TikTok’s year. Headlines include privacy violations with alleged ties to the Chinese Communist Party, a ban on the app by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and now talks on a partial US acquisition. Potential acquirers include executives Microsoft, Twitter and Oracle.
Social media under test?
Despite the list of headwinds that social media has encountered, about half of the world is now on it – and there seems to be no end in sight for future growth.
How have companies with exposure to the social media universe fared in 2020 so far?
|Companies with exposure to social media||YTD price returned|
Widespread participation in social media comes with a reasonable set of issues. Some companies like Facebook have been at the crossroads on both sides of the political spectrum. As concerns grow about privacy and data, social media will be central to shaping the future of government, business and politics.
Only time will tell how high the number of users will reach. The long-term trajectory suggests that there is more space left in the engine. There are still parts of the world that have just started to have the technological infrastructure for social media to be an option. It is likely future growth will come from this path.
If stock prices for companies linked to social media are relevant, their performance this year with the fact that they are trading near record highs supports such a growth task.
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