I know many of you have landed here feeling something really apprehensive. However, the facts are going to remain intact and probably surprising enough for many. In spite of 955 million users network Facebook is lagging much behind from other Twitter and LinkedIn in terms of revenue generation. Interestingly, Twitter and LinkedIn both have less than half users’ compare to social media giant Facebook.
Before I move further to justify the thought process of my brain child, here are few numbers which showcase Facebook supremacy and dominance in social Media space:
- Social Media ‘Titan’ has more than 955 million active users.
- On an average 552 million users log-in daily
- Out of close to billion users, 543 million are mobile users.
- Daily 3.2 billion ‘Likes’ and comments take place over Facebook
- Little over 250 million pics are being uploaded over Facebook daily.
Literally, I am not feeling to dig so deep for micro-blogging network Twitter and professional network LinkedIn as story is not so charming that side when it comes to numbers and daily stats. While Twitter has just crossed the milestone of 500 million users ‘unofficially’, LinkedIn has just 154 million users across the globe. Google+ is not there anywhere in the race till now. For sure, there is no absolute comparison among all three largest online networks as Facebook wins with distinction – till now.
But, It’s All About Money Honey
If you belong to any VC or investors’ circle, I am sure the story till now quite fascinated for you and your expectation must be riding very high, especially with Facebook. Unfortunately, the tune is not so pleasant. Facebook has written $1.18 billion as revenue including $992 from ads in its financial books for 2nd quarter closed on June 30, 2012. The contribution of revenue from mobile ads was quite negligible as Facebook started rolling out its mobile ads quite recently then.
Facebook Vs Twitter
When it comes to Twitter, micro-social network did $135 million revenue in 2011 with a target to reach $1 billion by 2014. A major chunk of the revenue was driven from mobile ads as Twitter business model is virtually more influential for mobile internet users.
A recent report from eMarketer claims that Twitter mobile ad revenue will beat Facebook in US in 2012. The report projects that by end of 2012, Twitter will book $129.7 million as ad revenue against $72.7 million of Facebook.
However, in next 2 years, Facebook mobile ad revenue could surge to $629.4 billion beating Twitter’s $444.1 million. That means – if we believe on report – half of Twitter revenue is going to come from U.S. alone by 2014. One important factor to be noticed here is the ‘projected revenue against reach’. Twitter has almost half of the reach compare to Facebook. In fact, mobile users’ reach of both the networks is almost similar but not the mobile ad revenue.
Anyways, the overall situation looks susceptible to me. The dependency over eMarketer report is not an intelligent move as the company failed or changed its earlier projections at multiple occasions for various other industries.
Twitter is much stronger over mobile than Facebook. And, keeping an eye over 1.7 billion projected smartphone users by 2017, company is gearing up to strengthen its presence with time. This could surely lead to much more revenue for Twitter than possible projection – possibly better than Facebook. People are pacing towards smartphone than ever before and Twitter has got the edge over Facebook here.
Facebook Vs LinkedIn
With just 15% of Facebook users, LinkedIn is miles behind in numbers. The professional network is also having the similar story like Facebook when it comes to mobile users. The major revenue share is being originated from Desktop site and company is taking progressive approach to leverage upon explosive growth in mobile industry.
Despite of all this LinkedIn is minting twenty times more money per users than Facebook. According to Forbes, a user spends only 18 mints per month compare to 6.4 hours over Facebook. However, LinkedIn gets $1.30 for each hour those users spend over network compare to mere 6 cents Facebook earns. Also, the profit of LinkedIn is expected to get doubled by end of this year.
When it comes to serious business, LinkedIn takes the big leap; Unlike Facebook, Company has got ‘business-critical’ product catering to Recruitment Industry which is the main driving force behind its revenue and profit.
Marketing Tool Vs Sales Tool
Though, Facebook too has got a section for business known as ‘Pages’ but it’s more like a marketing and promotion tool rather than a Sales engine of LinkedIn. The explosive growth in mobile, telecom and smartphone industry is indirectly setting up revenue streams for Twitter.
Besides, constant plunging share value is another area of concern for Facebook; Company has lost almost 50% share valuation since the launch and ‘not-so-excited’ results from mobile users is just making the situation worse.
Though, Facebook is trying to make up by the launch of new ‘Promotional’ tools and by focusing on untapped countries like Brazil, it would be interesting to see how far such efforts pay off to Mark Zuckerburg in next few years.