Facebook is the company that
manages different social networks and Internet-based communication and
information services, which allow people to connect with each other, contact
and share experiences, opinions, ideas, photos, and videos both with their
relatives, friends and coworkers, but with the general public that accesses its
platforms through mobile devices, personal computers, VR headsets, and in-home
The company was
created in 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg together with a group of colleagues from
Harvard University in the United States. It was born as TheFacebook aiming to connect
students from different universities with each other. A year later, it changed
the name to Facebook and was opened to the general public, regardless of
whether they were university students or not.
Today, it has 2.5
billion monthly active users, where almost half are in Asia. With 44,942
employees, the company generated revenues of $ 70.7 billion in 2019 through all
its platforms that include: Instagram, a social network more focused on photos
and videos; the chat service Messenger, the private messaging app that uses the
mobile number Whatsapp; and Oculus, an ecosystem that allows people to meet and
connect through virtual reality solutions.
The biggest competitor of Facebook is
Pinterest, the second social network in terms of visits in the US with almost
30% of the share behind Facebook, the undisputed leader with 56%. Created in
2010, Pinterest is the platform to discover visual ideas and it is considered
the world’s fastest-growing social network. It employs 2,217 people and
reported revenues of $1.14 billion in 2019 against Facebook’s almost $71
billion and 45,000 employees.
How the company makes money
main source of income is advertising, which involves the sale of publicity
spaces to brands, companies, and businesses, allowing them to reach different
audiences according to age, gender, location, interests, and behavior metrics.
Marketers buy ads that can appear on all the company’s social networks. Here,
it competes with all the companies that sell online advertising, and also with
companies that provide social media, communication products, and user engagement
is generated by displaying products on Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, third
party sites or mobile apps. Advertisers pay according to the impressions and
interaction with their published ads. In 2019, the revenues generated by this
activity were $ 69.6 billion.
is investing heavily in other direct-to-consumer hardware products and
initiatives such as Augmented Reality (AR), Artificial Intelligence (AI),
connectivity services and other developments for new technologies with which it
hopes to extend its business in the long term. These services generated revenues of $ 1 billion in 2019.
SnapChat is the app that allows users to share photos and videos that was created by the company of instant digital cameras Snap as a way to reinvent its business in 2011. It works as a social network that helps people to visually communicate with their friends and family with the option to segment your audience. The contents are erased by default, removing the pressure of aesthetic perfection. It has features like Camera, Chat, Discover, Snap Map, Memories, and Spectacles.
It is popular among
audiences under 16 years old. In 2019, it had 218 million daily users and
generated revenues of $1.7 billion through its main
source of income, advertising, and with its 3,195 employees.
LinkedIn is a social network
for business and professional interactions that was created by Reid Hoffman in
the United States and launched in 2003. In 2016, it was acquired by Microsoft for $ 26.2 billion.
The platform allows companies to start their recruitment processes and people
to contact their potential employers and establish virtual relationships, show
their profile and call their attention. In addition, it has a feed to publish
articles, ideas, opinions and allows to publicize professional achievements and
is a free service, but there is a Premium option by paying an annual fee. It
currently has more than 575 million users, where 260 are monthly active users.
In 2019, it earned revenues of $ 6.8 billion though its almost 16,000
Twitter is the platform for
uploading comments with images and video that was launched in 2006 in the United
States. Created by Jack Dorsey, Noah Glass, Biz Stone, and Evan Williams, it
was born to publish ideas in a maximum of 140 characters that both the general
public and the user’s personal contacts were allowed to see. Then, in 2017, it
was expanded to 240 characters. Today, it has 320 million monthly active users,
of which 126 million have daily activity and are monetizable. It is available
in 40 languages worldwide and can be accessed from both the website and the
company gets income from advertising. In 2019, it generated $3.45 billion in revenues with its
nearly 5,000 employees. Twitter competes with Facebook when it comes to users
and engagement, although it has a different goal. It has become the platform
where people talk about what is happening in the world at the moment it
happens, be it breaking news, entertainment, sports, politics, and daily
interests. In the last years, it has invested heavily in strengthening account
security and updating clear rules on unwanted conduct.
Pinterest is the online
platform for the discovering of visual ideas, that was created in 2010 by Ben
Silbermann, Evan Sharp, and Paul Sciarra, in the United States. Having reached
10 million new visitors in one month, it is considered the world’s
fastest-growing social network. In December 2019, it registered 335 million
monthly active users, showing increasing 26% over the previous year.
2,217 employees, it generated revenues of
$ 1.14 billion in 2019, overpassing
50% growth. Its main source of income is advertising, which it offers in
different formats. Pinterest aims to inspire users who want to create, allowing
them to discover ideas for anything imaginable, including cooking, clothing,
remodeling, and home décor, as well as training for a marathon or planning a
trip. Its main contents are
photos and videos.
WeChat is an online platform
with different functionalities, which was launched by the Chinese technological
giant Tencent in 2011 under the name of Weixin. A year later it was
renamed WeChat and to the free social network and messaging services added new
features. Thus, with a single app, the user can order food, send and receive
money, buy, pay and check-in flights.
features like Moments, People Nearby, news and entertainment articles, and an
eCommerce platform. WeChat has 1.1 billion monthly active users. In 2019, it
generated revenues of $ 24.5 billion, where 2.3 billion
correspond to advertising revenue. The
company has 56,310 employees.
VKontakte is the most popular
social network in Russia, that was developed by Pável Dúrov and launched in
2007. Known as “VK”, it belongs to the Mail.ru group, together with OK and My
World sites. It is similar to Facebook in concept and design, but it includes
other features such as the listening and sharing music option, and the
possibility to download it to listen offline. A downside of the Russian network
is that it has suffered security issues when 100 million accounts were hacked.
country of origin, it has 85 million active users, compared to Facebook that
despite being more popular worldwide, in Russia has 8 million active users.
Registered users amount 300 million and the main source of income is
advertising. In 2019, the group generated revenues of $ 643,6 million through its three
social media sites.
Quora is an interactive
website, where users can make different questions and answer to others based on
opinions and information. It was created in 2009 by the ex-Facebook CTO Adam
D’Angelo and Charlie Cheever. It was born as a private social network, only
accessible by invitation, but the next year it opened to all the users. It is
free and anonymous, but people can register if they want to have a customized
experience. It targets young audiences, who are avid to find answers and it is
available in five languages.
source of income is advertising, which generated revenues of $ 20 million in 2018, reaching a
market value of $ 2 billion. The company has stated that it has reached 300
million monthly active users. This might respond to its high popularity gained
at the search engines like google. It is considered the evolution after the
first wave started by Facebook.
Diaspora is an open-source
social network that was developed in 2010 by four mathematics sciences students
at New York University: Ilya Zhitomirskiy, Dan Grippi, Max Salzberg, and
Raphael Sofaer. Today, it has reached 730,418 users but remains a free and open
project with no owner, advertising or revenues.
Facebook, Diaspora allows users to share status, updates, posts, and images and
to comment on other users’ posts too. It also allows managing who can see what
the user posts and it is linkable with Facebook.
EyeEM is a German startup that was launched in 2011 by Florian Meissner. It works like a photobank that allows users to publish and find any kind of photos in high quality. Then, it became a marketplace that allows worldwide creators to get money in exchange for licensing their works. The platform obtains half of the revenues generated by these deals.
EyeEM connects 25 million users with leading brands and companies, as well as
buyers interested in their photos. The company employs about 200 people and
generates annual revenues of $ 3.3 million.
Ello is an online platform
and social network focused on artistic works, that was created in 2013 by Paul
Budnitz and Todd Berger with a group of artists and designers from the United
States. Known as “The Creators Network”, it seeks to be a space to publish,
collaborate, connect and support the global artist community. It has become a
virtual forum and workplace for artists, brands, agencies, publishers and their
fans. Every link that users follow at Ello is converted into data. The company
has raised a total of $ 13.5 million in funding.
The top 10 Facebook competitors are: Snapchat, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, WeChat, Quora, Vkontakte, Diaspora, EyeEm, and Ello. Together they have raised over $ 17 billion between their estimated 90,174 employees. Facebook has 44,942 employees and is ranked 1st among it’s top 10 competitors. The top 10 competitors average 9,017.