Facebook seems to be the largest major player in social media networks. There are now currently nearly two billion active users on the site, related numeric metrics of which will likely surpass that astronomic figure in the near future. Unlike many other platforms, the company has an actively growing user base that apparently encompasses people of all varieties and demographic profiles, inherently by design - a testament to the operational prowess and tact demonstrated by the veritable army of managing staff and software developers who are employed at the company.
Tumblr began as a humble blogging service and social network. The website has been in operation since 2007. Unfortunately, it is no longer owned by its original founder, David Karp. In 2013, Yahoo acquired the company for over $1,000,000,000 USD. At the time, Tumblr was arguably at the peak of its social relevance and popularity. For many small scale bloggers and content creators, Tumblr was a viable, affordable means of simplified web hosting, enabling one to quickly reach a broad public audience. Since then however, its popularity has declined, as a flood of competing alternatives and more recent cultural trends have emerged.
Snapchat is a social media phenomenon that centers on the premise of ephemeral, self-destructing text and image based messages. However, despite the parent company’s widely misunderstood and intentionally deceptive advertising, the vast majority of content created and distributed through Snapchat services remain intact on their servers for eternity, with them possessing full, largely unrestricted ownership rights to it, regardless of the creator. Nevertheless, the platform has been wildly popular. Unlike many other competing networks, Snapchat is a mobile only digital experience. There is no viable desktop alternative. Perhaps as a result, the company has been particularly well received amongst younger user demographics.
Twitter’s role in American popular culture and societal discourse has been forever memorialized in the media coverage stemming from the 2016 Presidential Election between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Once a novel social media site for niche enthusiasts, the platform suddenly became an direct, active content delivery mechanism for some of the nation’s most prescient social dialogue. Nevertheless, financial woes seem to follow the company resulting from years of lacking clearly delineated profitability structures. But its central role in shaping the language of recent politics is utterly irrefutable.
Sina Weibo is a social media giant in China, often described in America as a microblogging service somewhat akin to a hybrid between Twitter and Facebook. The site is highly popular, receiving heavy traffic from China’s massive user base, further compounded by the limited number of destinations one can even access to begin with as a result of constrictive government censorship - colloquially referred to outside of China as the nation's “Great Firewall”.
Pinterest is a multimedia social network that focuses on niche interest categories. The curation of associated content, largely image and text based in nature, is central to the company’s digital operations. Fashion, art, and cooking are but just a few of the seemingly endless trends and styles that circulate on this media juggernaut.