By: Christy Young 5Facebook is a social networking service and website.MilestonesFeb 2004 Launched the platform, initial community invite extended strictly toHarvard students.March 2004 Extended community invitation Ivy league schools and Stanford.June 2004 First Investment from PayPal co cofounder Peter ThielUS$500,000 in exchange for 7% of the company.Dec 2004 One million members created profiles on the site.Sep. 2005 High School version launched on invite only basis.Oct. 2005 Global expansion, 21 English Universities, 30 Uni. in Mexico,Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands.Dec 2005 Global Expansion bringing its size to 2,000+ colleges and 25,000 +high schools throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, theUnited Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, and Ireland.Sept 2006 Community opens up to now include 13 and older with valid emailaddress.Sept 2006 Facebook launched the news feed and mini feed feature. At thetime it was a big step change for Facebook users, who were notuse to their every move being tracked in a general stream by all oftheir Facebook friends.May 2007 Facebook opened up its API to developers, allowing them to use toplatform to launch widgets and games. This development led to amajor reinvention of the network as a social games platform, withthe advent of popular games such as Farmville.Sept. 2009 Beacon service was launched. The aim of the service was to exploitthe power of "word of mouth" marketing. It inserted details ofpurchases made at participating websites in to the news feed ofFacebook users, making it visible to all their friends. But someusers complained that that they had not been aware these detailswould be shared. Zuckerberg, was forced into U-turn, admitting thatthe service had been a mistake, and changing the rules so thatBeacon became opt-in rather than opt-out. Later in 2009, Beaconwas shut down completely, following a class-action lawsuit fromdisgruntled Facebook users.2010 A shift in how Facebook used their community. They began to pro-actively involve its users in running the website by inviting them tobecome beta testers after passing a question-and-answer-basedselection process.July 2010 Facebook.com was ranked the top social network across eightindividual markets in the Southeast Asia/Oceania region(Philippines, Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, NewZealand, Hong Kong and Vietnam). Facebook reached 500 millionregistered members, the equivalent of connecting with eight percent of the world’s population.
By: Christy Young 6Today Facebook has over 800 million monthly active users according totheir own statistics. Over 350 million of these participants areaccessing Facebook through their mobile phones. Facebook hassuccessfully integrated various mobile platforms that are modeledfor iPhones, iPads, androids, blackberries and other forums toprovide access to the site at all times. In total, 33% of Facebooktraffic comes from mobile phone accessibility.April 2012 Facebook acquires Instagram.Financials
By: Christy Young 7June 2004 First Investment from PayPal co cofounder Peter Thiel US$500,000in exchange for 7% of the company.June 2005 $12.7 million in venture capital from Accel Partners, and then$27.5 million more from Greylock Partners. A leaked cash flowstatement showed that during the 2005 fiscal year, Facebook had anet loss of $3.63 million.March 2006 Facebook reportedly declined an offer of $750 million from anunknown bidder, and it was rumored the asking price rose as highas $2 billion.Sept. 2006 Serious talks between Facebook and Yahoo! took place concerningacquisition of Facebook, with prices reaching as high as $1 billion.Thiel, by then a board member of Facebook, indicated thatFacebooks internal valuation was around $8 billion based on theirprojected revenues of $1 billion by 2015, comparable to ViacomsMTV brand, a company with a shared target demographicaudience.Oct 2007 Microsoft announced that it had purchased a 1.6% share ofFacebook for $240 million, giving Facebook a total implied value ofaround $15 billion.Microsofts purchase also included rights to place international adson Facebook.Nov 2007 Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing invested $60 million in Facebook.Sept 2009 Facebook claimed that it had turned cash flow positive for thefirst time.Early 2012 Facebook disclosed that its profits had jumped 65% to $1 billion inthe previous year as its revenue which is mainly from advertisinghad jumped almost 90% to $3.71 billion. 56% of its advertisingrevenue comes from the U.S alone, it also reported that 12% of itsrevenue comes from Zynga the popular social network gamedevelopment company. Payments and other fees were $557 millionup from $106 million the previous year.IPO info: The New York Post reported that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberghas told Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase andother banks that are involved the value of $75 billion to $100 billionIPO in his company, which is use to stop leaking details to thepress about the upcoming event.Technology Growth:In August 2009, Facebook acquired social media real-time newsaggregator FriendFeed, a startup created by the former Googleemployee and Gmails first engineer Paul Buchheit who, while atGoogle, coined the phrase "Dont be evil". In February 2010,Facebook acquired Malaysian contact-importing startup OctazenSolutions. On April 2, 2010, Facebook announced acquisition of
By: Christy Young 8photo-sharing service called Divvyshot for an undisclosed amount.In June 2010, an online marketplace for trading private companystock reflected a valuation of $11.5 billion.Early Years Facebook users were limited to 60 photos per album.Aug 2006 Facebook Notes was introduced, a blogging feature that allowedtags and embeddable images. Users were later able to import blogsfrom Xanga, LiveJournal, Blogger, and other blogging services.Sept 2006 News Feed was announced, which appears on every usershomepage and highlights information including profile changes,upcoming events, and birthdays of the users friends.Initially, the News Feed caused dissatisfaction among Facebookusers; some complained it was too cluttered and full of undesiredinformation, others were concerned that it made it too easy forothers to track individual activities (such as relationship statuschanges, events, and conversations with other users).In response, Zuckerberg issued an apology for the sites failure toinclude appropriate customizable privacy features. Since then,users have been able to control what types of information areshared automatically with friends.Feb 2007 Facebook launched Gifts on which allows users to send virtual giftsto their friends that appear on the recipients profile. Gifts cost $1.00each to purchase, and a personalized message can be attached toeach gift.May 2007 Facebook launched Marketplace, which lets users post freeclassified ads.July 2007 Facebook began allowing users to post attachments to the Wall,whereas the Wall was previously limited to textual content only.April 2008 Facebook released a Comet-based instant messaging applicationcalled "Chat" to several networks, which allows users tocommunicate with friends and is similar in functionality to desktop-based instant messengers.July 2008 Facebook introduced "Facebook Beta", a significant redesign of itsuser interface on selected networks. The Mini-Feed and Wall wereconsolidated, profiles were separated into tabbed sections, and aneffort was made to create a "cleaner" look. Users had choice toswitch.Sept 2008 Facebook began migrating all users to the new version of Minifeedand Wall.Dec 2008 Facebook was tested and implemented a simpler signup process.May 2009 Photo limit has been increased to 200 photos per album.June 2009 Facebook introduced a "Usernames" feature, whereby pages canbe linked with simpler URLs such as
By: Christy Young 9http://www.facebook.com/facebook instead ofhttp://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=20531316728June 2009 Facebook became available on most Smart Phones. More than 425million active users access Facebook through mobile devicesacross 200 mobile operators in 60 countries.Feb 2010 Facebook was granted a patent on certain aspects of its NewsFeed.Nov 2010 Facebook announced a new "Facebook Messages" service.Facebook Messages took 15 months to develop.April 2011 Facebook users have had the ability to make live voice calls viaFacebook Chat, allowing users to chat with others from all over theworld. This feature, which was provided free through T-Mobilesnew Bobsled service, let the user add voice to the currentFacebook Chat as well as leave voice messages on Facebook.July 2011 Facebook launched its video calling services using Skype as itstechnology partner. It allows one to one calling using a Skype RestAPI.Sept 2011 Facebook launched a Subscribe button. The feature allows forusers to follow public updates, and these are the people most oftenbroadcasting their ideas.Feb 2012 Facebook introduced ‘Verified Account’ concept like that of Twitter& Google+. Though as of 3 March 2012, verified accounts don’t getany badges or denotations, but such accounts will get more priorityin ‘Subscription Suggestions’ of Facebook.March 2012 Facebook officially launched its Messenger for Windows.April 2012 Facebook acquires Instagram.Community Growth:April 2008 Facebook was the leading social networking site based on monthlyunique visitors, having overtaken main competitor MySpace.March 2010 Traffic to Facebook increased steadily after 2009. More peoplevisited Facebook than Google for the week ending March 13, 2010.June 2011 Release of statistics by DoubleClick showed that Facebookreached one trillion pageviews in the month, making it the mostvisited website in the world.
By: Christy Young 11Leadership / Staffing:Number of EmployeesJan 2004 – 2Mar 2004 – 4Aug 2009 –1000Feb 2010 – 1200May 2011 - 2000July 2011 - 2500March 2012 - 3200This is a particularly tough metric, as Facebook doesnt publicly release this data.An estimate in 2011 came from an in-depth profile of chief operating officerSheryl Sandberg in the current issue of The New Yorker, with 2,500 employees,close to double the estimates reported for early 2010.Originally called thefacebook, Facebook was founded by former-Harvard studentMark Zuckerberg (while at Harvard) who ran it as one of his hobby projects withsome financial help from Eduardo Saverin. Within months, Facebook and its coreidea spread across the dorm rooms of Harvard where it was very well received.Soon enough, it was extended to Stanford and Yale where, like Harvard, it waswidely endorsed.Mark Zuckerberg was then joined by two other fellow Harvard students, DustinMoskovitz and Chris Hughes, to help him grow the site to the next level. It wasonly a few months later when it was officially a national student networkphenomenon. Zuckerberg and Moskovitz dropped out of Harvard to pursue theirdreams and run Facebook full time. In August 2005, thefacebook was officiallycalled Facebook and the domain facebook.com was purchased for a reported$200,000.Instagram AcquistionWhat: Instagram is a free photo sharing application that allows users to take aphoto, apply a digital filter to it, and then share it on a variety of social networkingservices, including Instagrams own. A distinctive feature confines photos to asquare shape, similar to Kodak Instamatic and Polaroid images, in contrast to the4:3 aspect ratio typically used by mobile device cameras.History of Acquisition: Instagram was initially supported on iPhone, iPad, andiPod Touch; in April 2012, the company added support for Android cameraphones running 2.2 (Froyo) or higher. It is distributed via the iTunes App Storeand Google Play.
By: Christy Young 12In April 2009, Instagram raised $50 million from venture capitalists for a share ofthe company that valued it at $500 million. On April 9th, it was announced thatInstagram would be acquired by Facebook for approximately $1 billion in cashand stock. Instagram would keep its 13 employees and continue to be indepentlymanaged. The deal, which was made just before Facebook was scheduled to gopublic, cost Facebook about a quarter of the cash-on-hand they had as of theend of 2011; the deal was for a company characterized as having "lots of buzzbut no business model" and the price was contrasted with the $35 million Yahoo!paid for Flickr in 2007, a website which has since become among the 50 mostpopular in the world. Mark Zuckerberg noted that Facebook was "committed tobuilding and growing Instagram independently", in contrast to its commonpractice of, as CNNMoney.com put it, buying "hot startups, kill[ing] their products,and redeploy[ing] their staff on other projects."Community: By December 2010, Instagram had one million registered users. InJune 2011 Instagram announced five million users, passing ten million inSeptember the same year.Instagram also announced that 100 million photos had been uploaded to itsservice as of July 2011. The total reached 150 million in Augus. In April 2012, itwas announced that over 30 million accounts were set up on Instagram.Instagrams new Android version in Google Play crossed more than one milliondownloads within 12 hours.
By: Christy Young 15Twitter is an online social networking service and microbloggingservice that enables its users to send and read text-based postsof up to 140 characters, known as "tweets".MilestonesMarch 2006 Twitter was founded by Jack Dorsey, Biz Stone, and Evan Williams(launched publicly in July 2006). The first prototype was used as aninternal service for Odeo employees.July 2006 The full version was introduced publicly.Oct 2006 Biz Stone, Evan Williams, Dorsey, and other members of Odeoformed Obvious Corporation and acquired Odeo and all of itsassets, including Odeo.com and Twitter.com, from the investorsand shareholders.Feb 2007 The 140 character limit to messages was introduced. “One couldchange the world with 140 characters.”April 2007 Twitter spun off into its own company.Dec 2007 500,000 tweets were posted per quarter.Dec 2008 100 million tweets were posted per quarter.2008 – 2009 Twitter had annual growth of 1,382 percent, increasing from475,000 unique visitors in February 2008 to 7 million in February2009.Jan 2009 Twitter moved up to the third-highest-ranking social networking sitein from its previous rank of twenty-second.March 2009 A Nielsen.com blog ranked Twitter as the fastest-growing websitein the Member Communities.April 2009 Twitter adjusted its web interface, adding a search bar and asidebar of "trending topics" with the most common phrasesappearing in messages. Biz Stone explains that all messages areinstantly indexed and that "with this newly launched feature, Twitterhas become something unexpectedly important, a discovery enginefor finding out what is happening right now.Dec 2009 2 billion tweets are posted per quarter.June 2010 65 million tweets posted each day (750 tweets/second).Sept 2010 Twitter launched a redesigned site including a new logo.March 2011 140 million tweets posted per day.March 2012 Twitter celebrated its sixth birthday while also announcing that ithas 140 million users and sees 340 million tweets per day. Thenumber of users is up 40% from their September 2011 number,which was said to have been at 100 million at the time.March 2012 Twitter became available in Arabic, Farsi, Hebrew and Urdu, the firstright-to-left language versions of the site. About 13,000 volunteershelped with translating the menu options.Financials
By: Christy Young 16Twitter raised over $57 million from venture capitalist growth funding, althoughexact numbers are not publicly disclosed.Round A Funding 2006/7 ($1-5 million)As chief executive officer, Dorsey saw the startup through two rounds of capitalfunding by the venture capitalists who backed the company. Twitters first Around of funding was for an undisclosed amount that is rumored to have beenbetween $1 million and $5 million.Round B Funding 2008 ($22 million)Its second B round of funding in 2008 was for $22 million.Round C Funding 2009 ($35 million)Its third C round of funding in 2009 was for $35 million from Institutional VenturePartners and Benchmark Capital along with an undisclosed amount from otherinvestors including Union Square Ventures, Spark Capital and Insight VenturePartners. Twitter is backed by Union Square Ventures, Digital Garage, SparkCapital, and Bezos Expeditions.August 2010 ($800 million)In August, 2010 Twitter announced a "significant" investment lead by Digital SkyTechnologies that, at $800 million, was reported to be the largest venture roundin history.Dec 2010 ($200 million)The company raised $200 million in new venture capital in December 2010, at avaluation of approximately $3.7 billion.March 2011 sold 35,000 shares35,000 Twitter shares sold for $34.50 each on Sharespost, an implied valuationof $7.8 billion.December 2011 Private InvestorThe Saudi prince Alwaleed bin Talal invested $300 million in Twitter. Thecompany was valued at $8.4 billion at the time.Initial Public OfferingTwitter has been identified as a possible candidate for an initial public offering by2013.Technology Growth2007-2011 The Twitter Web interface uses the Ruby on Rails frameworkdeployed on a performance enhanced Ruby Enterprise Editionimplementation of Ruby.
By: Christy Young 17March 2007 The messages were handled by a Ruby persistent queue servercalled Starling.Early 2009 Messages were gradually replaced with a software server written inScala. The services application programming interface (API)allowed other web services and applications to integrate withTwitter.April 2010 Twitter acquired application developer Atebits. They had developedthe Apple Design Award-winning Twitter client Tweetie for the Macand iPhone. The application, now called "Twitter" and distributedfree of charge, is the official Twitter client for the iPhone, iPad andMac.March 2010 URL Shorterner - Having previously used the servicesof third parties TinyURL and bit.ly, Twitter began experimenting withits own URL shortening service for direct messages in March 2010using the twt.tl domain, before it purchased the t.co domain. Theservice was tested on the main site using the accounts@TwitterAPI, @rsarver and @raffi. On September 2, 2010, anemail from Twitter to users said they would be expanding the roll-out of the service to users.Sept 2010 The company began rolling out "New Twitter", an entirely revampededition of twitter.com. Changes included the ability to see picturesand videos without leaving Twitter itself by clicking on individualtweets which contain links to images and clips from a variety ofsupported websites including YouTube and Flickr, and a completeoverhaul of the interface, which shifted links such as @mentionsand Retweets above the Twitter stream, while Messages and LogOut became accessible via a black bar at the very top oftwitter.com.April 2011 Twitter tested a new homepage and phased out the "Old Twitter."April 2011 Twitter engineers confirmed they switched away from their Ruby onRails search-stack, to a Java server they call Blender.Dec 2011 Twitter overhauled its website once more to feature the "Fly"design, which the service says is easier for new users to follow andpromote advertising. In addition to the Home button, the Connectand Discover buttons were introduced along with a redesignedprofile and timeline of Tweets.Feb 2012 Twitter and Yandex agreed to a partnership. Yandex, is a Russiansearch engine which finds value within the partnership due toTwitter’s real time news feeds. Twitter’s director of businessdevelopment explained that it is important to have Twitter contentwhere Twitter users go.
By: Christy Young 18Community GrowthMarch 2007 The tipping point for Twitters popularity was the 2007 South bySouthwest Interactive (SXSWi) conference. During the event,Twitter usage increased from 20,000 tweets per day to 60,000."The Twitter people cleverly placed two 60-inch plasma screens inthe conference hallways, exclusively streaming Twitter messages,"remarked Newsweek’s Steven Levy. "Hundreds of conference-goers kept tabs on each other via constant twitters. Panelists andspeakers mentioned the service, and the bloggers in attendancetouted it.2007 Twitter had 400,000 tweets posted per quarter in 2007.2008 Twitter had 100 million tweets posted per quarter in 2008.Feb 2010 Twitter users sent 50 million tweets per day.March 2010 The company recorded over 70,000 registered applications.June 2010 65 million tweets were posted each day, equaling about 750 tweetssent each second, according to Twitter.March 2011 140 million tweets were posted daily.• Twitter has a user retention rate of forty percent.• Twitters usage spikes during prominent events. When American singerMichael Jackson died on June 25, 2009, Twitter servers crashed afterusers were updating their status to include the words "Michael Jackson" ata rate of 100,000 tweets per hour.• Twitter is mainly used by older adults who might not have used othersocial sites before Twitter, said Jeremiah Owyang, an industry analyststudying social media. "Adults are just catching up to what teens havebeen doing for years," he said. According to comScore only elevenpercent of Twitters users are aged twelve to seventeen.Content of Tweets according toPear AnalyticsNewsSpamSelf-promotionPointless babbleConversationalPass-along value
By: Christy Young 19Leadership / Staffing:Jan 2009 – 22Jan 2010 – 110March 2010 - 140June 2010 - 200Twitter is also increasingly used for making TV more interactive and social. Thiseffect is sometimes referred to as the "virtual watercooler" or social television —the practice has been called "chatterboxing".
By: Christy Young 23Pinterest is a pinboard-style social photo sharing website thatallows users to create and manage theme-based imagecollections such as events, interests, hobbies and more.MilestonesDec 2009- June 2011 Silbermann and a few programmers operated the siteout of a small apartment until the summer of 2011.Dec 2009 Development of Pinterest began by co-founders Ben Silbermannand Paul Sciarra.March 2010 Pinterest launched closed Beta. It was available to a small group ofcolleges and family members.Founder Ben Silbermann said he personally wrote to the sites first5,000 users offering his personal phone number and even met withsome of its users.Dec 2010 Nine months after launch the website had 10,000 users.Sept 2011 Pinterest Mobile, launched September 2011, which was the versionof website for non-iPhone users.Dec 2011 The site became one of the top 10 largest social network services,according to Hitwise data, with 11 million total visits per week.Jan 2012 Pinterest drove more referral traffic to retailers than LinkedIn,YouTube, and Google+. The site had 11.7 million unique users,making it the fastest site in history to break through the 10million unique visitor mark.FinancialsEarly 2011 The company secured a $10 million in Series A financing led byJeremy Levine of Bessemer Venture Partners.Oct 2011 The company secured $27 million in funding from AndreessenHorowitz, which valued the company at $200 million. Pinterest hasreceived further funding from Andreessen Horowitz in the form of aSeries B investment valued at $37.5 million.Since its inception three years ago, it has developed into a well-funded sitefinancially supported by a group of successful entrepreneurs and investorsincluding: Jack Abraham (Milo), Michael Birch (Bebo), Scott Belsky (Behance),Shana Fisher (Highline Venture Partners), Ron Conway (SV Angel), Kevin Hartz(EventBrite), Jeremy Stoppelman (Yelp), Hank Vigil, Fritz Lanman, and Brian S.Cohen.Technology Growth
By: Christy Young 24Pinterest currently uses the Skimlinks server to generate income by modifyingusers affiliate links to commercial sites. This works by replacing the originalaffiliate tracking code with Pinterests tracking code, where any payment ispassed to Pinterest instead of the original affiliate.In other words, Pinterest receives a portion of the sale when a user purchases anitem since Pinterest connects (seamlessly through Skimlinks) users directly tothe company’s commercial website. Unfortunately the model “does not seem toadd up to a major amount of money, because a large majority of posts originatefrom Tumblr and Facebook, and are not commercial products.Community GrowthPinterests wide reach helped it achieve an average of 11 million visits each weekin December 2011. Most of the sites users are female, with 97% of the sitesFacebook "likes" being made by women.The site has been popular with American women and, in 2012, it was reportedthat 83% of the US users were women. In Britain, however, 56% of the user weremale and their age profile was different too, being about 10 years younger thanthe US, where the age range was typically 35-44.Leadership / Staffing:March 2012 Small Pinterest staff (last reported at under 20).Why it’s the fastest growing:Pinterest that acts as a clipping service of storing ideas is a fast growing socialnetworking site. Most of the women have become addicted since it is aboutsharing images and ideas alone dissimilar to other online media, which createnegativity to some extent revealing competitive spirit. Sharing the amazing thingsthat you find in your lifespan through Pinterest, it helps you to adorn your livingplace, organize various events, and prepare yummy recipes. It features likesurfing pins of your interest collectively as pin boards from people you follow,repinning, commenting, liking on pins of your choice and pinning your ownunique photographed images.Spending an average of 98 minutes a month on Pinterest in comparison to 150minutes on Tumblr and 420 minutes on Facebook as per the survey taken for sixmonths it is noted that monthly visits by the users to the Pinterest raised to866%. Below are some triggering factors for this popularity in such a short time.SimplicityMajor reason for the success is the simplicity in its outward design that lets the
By: Christy Young 25users to scroll over the images without much dig and deviation of the content.Images that have been finely photographed and look artful are center ofattraction filling most of the space with minimal comments neatly piled underphotographs. Information has been kept free of icon in a sleek manner withaction buttons left concealed unless the users scroll them over. Compilation ofimages fascinates the Pinterest users to get addicted to the site.Free of personal contentPinterest has evolved primarily as a photo-sharing medium its simple andappealing look is interest-evoked for surfers who are already fatigued withFacebook/Twitter/Orkut and so on. Pinterest allows the users to be more publiconly about what they are interested but not exhibiting personal content orprivacy-related issues.Easily accessiblePinterest can be easily accessed from the app to the browser plug-in. You canaccess without logging into the site unlike Facebook or other sites and make pinboards with the Pin-it browser plug-in. Through repin button images viewed onthe current web site can be tapped into the Pinterest.
By: Christy Young 28Google+ (pronounced and sometimes written as Google Plus,sometimes abbreviated as G+) is a social networking andidentity service, operated by Google Inc.MilestonesJune 28 ‘11 The service was launched on June 28, 2011, in an invitation-only"field testing" phase.June 29 ‘11 The following day existing users were allowed to invite friends whowere over 18 years of age to the service to create their ownaccounts. This was suspended the next day due to anoverwhelming demand for accounts.July 14 ‘11 Google announced that Google+ had reached 10 million users justtwo weeks after the launch of a "limited" trial phase. After fourweeks in operation, it had reached 25 million unique visitors.Aug 6 ‘11 Each Google+ member had 150 invitations to give out.Sept 2011 Google+ was opened to everyone 18 years of age or older withoutthe need for an invitation.Oct 2011 The service reached 40 million users.Oct 2011 Google announced that Google+ now supports Google Apps users(if the users domain administrator has enabled the service).Oct 2011 Google+ implements hastags.Nov 2011 Google launched Google+ Pages, which will let businesses connectwith fans in a manner similar to Facebook Pages. Thesebusinesses receive corporate accounts to start sharing informationabout themselves and invite others to join in on the conversation.Dec 2011 The site added an estimated number of 625,000 new users a day,adding almost a quarter of its total user base joining in Decemberalone which may total 400 million members by the end of 2012.Jan 2012 Google+ opened to a younger age group (13+ years old in US andmost countries, 14+ in South Korea and Spain, 16+ in Netherlands)Jan 2012 Google+ surpassed a user base of 90 million.Feb 2012 Users are only spending 3.3 minutes monthly on Google+ which isa downward trend from 4.8 minutes in December and 5.1 minutesin November compared to Facebook users currently spending 7.5hours using Facebook monthly.FinancialsThe focus of Google+ is to create a successful Google social network. Theycreate their revenue through AdWords and AdSense. However, Google+ has theluxury from the parent company Google, to potentially remain ad-free for yearswithout needing to generate strong revenue for the service. Companies like
By: Christy Young 30Oct 2011 Creative Kit, “What’s hot” stream and Ripples are introduced.Google + is now available to all Google Apps.Nov 2011 Google+ launches Pages and Direct Connect.Nov 2011 Google+ Badges became officially available.Dec 2011 New integrations with Gmail and Contacts were introduced.Dec 2011 New features: stream slider, more useful notifications, multipleadministrators for pages, new lightbox for photos wereimplemented.Jan 2012 Google released "Search plus Your World", which inserts contentshared on Google+ profiles and brand pages under Web Searchresults. The feature, which was opt-in, was received withcontroversy over the emphasis of Google+ profiles over other socialnetworking services user profiles (i.e., Facebook and Twitter). Thefeature builds upon the earlier "Social Search" feature whichindexes content shared or published by authors; "Social Search",however, relied partly upon returns from non-Google services, suchas Twitter and Flickr.Community Growth• Early adopters of Google+ have been mostly male (71.24%). Thedominant age bracket (35%) is between 25 and 34.• A survey estimates 13% of U.S. adults have joined Google+; it is projectedto have 22% of U.S. adults in a year.June 2011 Google+ introduced.July 2011 Google+ has 10 million users.Aug 2011 All Google+ users receive 150 invitations to give out.Sept 2011 Google+ open to everyone 18 or older (invites not required).Oct 2011 Google+ has 40 million users.Dec 2011 Google+ has 49 million users.Dec 2011 Google+ has 62 million users.Jan 2012 Google+ has 90 million users.Dec 2012 Google+ is expected to reach 400 million users.Leadership / Staffing:Jan 2012 Google added 8,067 employees in 2011, bringing total headcountto 32,467.
By: Christy Young 32LinkedIn is a business-related social networking site.MilestonesDec 2002 Reid Hoffman founded Linkedin.May 5 2003 Public launch of Linkedin with its five founders and 350 of theirfriendsMay 31 2003 By the end of the month, it had 4,500 members.Dec 2003 LinkedIn’s membership had grown to 81,000.April 2007 LinkedIn boasted 10 million active user accounts.July 2008 LinkedIn launched its Spanish-language version of the popularwebsite.2010 India and France were the fastest growing countries with a 76percent and 72 percent growth rate, respectfully, each year and ofthe sites current 100 million users, 45 million reside in the U.S. and56 million reside in the rest of the world.July 2010 LinkedIn logged 50 million unique visitors, a 16 percent changefrom November 2009.2010 Every fortune 500 company could be found on LinkeinDec 2010 LinkedIn was ranked No. 47 in the 50 Hottest Web properties listwith 266,577 unique visitors.Feb 2011 LinkedIn jumped to No. 36 on the Top 50 Hottest Web Propertieslist with 28,280 visitors, and currently, LinkedIn ranks No. 17 on theAlexa Traffic Rank chart, and is the 12th-most trafficked site in theU.S.FinancialsIt is funded by Sequoia Capital, Greylock, Bain Capital Ventures, BessemerVenture Partners and the European Founders Fund. Through January 2011, thecompany had received a total of $103 million of investment.2003 Sequoia Capital led the Series A investment in the company.2004 Its second round of financing, of $10 million, was led by Greylock,an early-stage investor that has a reputation of leading the mostnumber of its investments to IPO status.March 2006 LinkedIn reached profitability.June 2008 Sequoia Capital, Greylock Partners, and other venture capital firmspurchased a 5% stake in the company for $53 million, giving thecompany a post-money valuation of approximately $1 billion.2010 LinkedIn opened a European headquarters in Dublin, Ireland,received a $20 million investment from Tiger Global ManagementLLC at a valuation of approximately $2 billion, and announced itsfirst acquisition, Mspoke and improved its 1% premium subscriptionratio.
By: Christy Young 33Oct 2010 Silicon Valley Insider ranked the company No. 10 on its Top 100List of most valuable start ups.Dec 2010 The company was valued at $1.575 billion in private markets.Jan 2011 LinkedIn filed for an initial public offering (IPO) on January 27, 2011and the IPO occurred on May 19.May 2011 LinkedIn said it sold its IPO shares at $45. LinkedIn kicked offtrading at a market value of roughly $4.3 billion.It was reported that LinkedIn earned $154.6 million dollars in advertising revenuealone in 2011. This number was actually higher than that of Twitter who earned$139.5 million dollars respectively.LinkedIn’s fourth-quarter earnings have recently soared. LinkedIn’s shares rose9.5% to $83.68 in premarket trading. The increase in value is due to its increasein success in the social media world.Technology GrowthThe Search, Network, and Analytics team at LinkedIn has a web site that hoststhe open source projects built by the group. Notable among these projects isProject Voldemort, a distributed key-value structured storage system with low-latency similar in purpose to Amazon.coms Dynamo and Googles BigTable.Feb 2008 A mobile version of the site was launched which gives access to areduced feature set over a mobile phone. The mobile service wasavailable in six languages: Chinese, English, French, German,Japanese and Spanish.July 2008 LinkedIn launched LinkedIn DirectAds as a form of sponsoredadvertising.Oct 2008 LinkedIn enabled an "applications platform" that allows other onlineservices to be embedded within a members profile page. Amongthe initial applications were an Amazon Reading List that allowsLinkedIn members to display books they are reading, a connectionto Tripit, and a Six Apart, WordPress and TypePad application thatallows members to display their latest blog postings within theirLinkedIn profile.Nov 2010 LinkedIn allowed businesses to list products and services oncompany profile pages; it also permitted LinkedIn members to"recommend" products and services and write reviews.Jan 2011 LinkedIn acquired CardMunch, a mobile app maker that scansbusiness cards and converts into contacts. LinkedIn plans tointegrate this functionality into their services in the near future.July 2011 LinkedIn launched a new feature allowing companies to include an"Apply with LinkedIn" button on job listing pages.Feb 2012 LinkedIn announced its acquisition of the start-up Rapportive,which created a browser plug-in that takes contact information from
By: Christy Young 34social networks such as Twitter and Facebook, and places theminto Googles Gmail. LinkedIn has not stated yet how they will usethe Rapportives technology and talent.Community GrowthThe membership grows by approximately two new members every second.About half of the members are in the United States and 11 million are fromEurope. With 3 million users, India has the fastest-growing network of users as of2009. The Netherlands has the highest adoption rate per capita outside the US at30%.. LinkedIn recently reached 4 million users in UK,1 million in Spain, andnearly 1 million in Pakistan.Leadership / Staffing:May 2003 5 Founders launch LinkedinDec 2003 Staff of 14 employeesEmployees 2011 1,797
By: Christy Young 35MyspaceMilestonesAug 2003 Tom Anderson and Chris DeWolf founded MySpace in 2003 withInterMix. MySpaces initial purpose was to cater to the "Hollywoodelite," such as actors, musicians and other local artists of SouthernCalifornia.Aug 2003 Within 10 days, the first version of Myspace was ready for launch.Nov 2004 MySpace had gained 5 million active users.July 2005 News Corp Fox Interactive bought InterMix and thus MySpace for$580 million.Jan 2006 Fox announced plans to launch a UK version of Myspace in a bid to"tap into the UK music scene."April 2006 MySpace was the fifth most trafficked website in the world withmore than 80 million active user profiles.June 2006 MySpace had 66,401 million total unique visitors, surpassing JuneGoogle as the most visited website in the USA.March 2007 MySpace had reached 100 million worldwide active user accountsand later launched its developer platform in February 2008.June 2007 MySpace fell to the second place spot behind Facebook, but stillgrew 3 percent with 117,582 million total unique visitors.July 2007 MySpace had 114,147 million total unique visitors. This placedMySpace in the number one spot of all reported social networkingsites that year.April 2008 Myspace was overtaken by Facebook in the number of uniqueworldwide visitors.March 2009 MySpace was ranked No. 38 on the hottest web property list with68,205 million visitors.May 2009 Facebook surpassed Myspace in the number of unique U.S.visitors.Dec 2010 MySpace fell off the Hottest Web Properties list.Feb 2011 News Corp officially put the site up for sale, which was estimated tobe worth $50–200 million.June 2011 Myspace was sold to Specific Media and Justin Timberlake forapproximately $35 million.Financials2004 eWolfe suggested a charge fee for the basic Myspace service. BradGreenspan nixed the idea, believing that keeping Myspace freewas necessary to make it a successful community.July 2005 News Corp Fox Interactive bought InterMix and thus MySpace for$580 million.
By: Christy Young 36Feb 2011 News Corp officially put the site up for sale, which was estimated tobe worth $50–200 million.June 2011 Myspace was sold to Specific Media and Justin Timberlake forapproximately $35 million.Myspace operates solely on revenues generated by advertising as its revenuemodel possesses no user-paid features. Through its Web site and affiliated adnetworks, Myspace is second only to Yahoo! in its capacity to collect data aboutits users and thus in its ability to use behavioral targeting to select the ads eachvisitor sees.On August 8, 2006, search engine Google signed a $900 million deal to providea Google search facility and advertising on Myspace.Technology GrowthEarly 2006 Myspace introduced MySpaceIM, an instant messenger that usesones Myspace account as a screen name.Aug 2006 Began offering full service classifieds listing.Early 2007 Myspace introduced MySpaceTV, a service similar to the YouTubevideo sharing website.April 2007 Myspace launched a news service called Myspace News whichdisplays news from RSS feeds that users submit.Late 2007 The site launched The Myspace Transmissions, a series of live-in-studio recordings by well-known artists.Feb 2008 Myspace set up a developer platform, which allows developers toshare their ideas and write their own Myspace applications.April 2008 Ksolo.myspace.com is a combination of Myspace and kSolo, whichallows users to upload audio recordings of themselves singing ontotheir profile page.In 2008 Myspace introduced an API with which users could createapplications for other users to post on their profiles.In 2008 Myspace Polls is a feature on Myspace that was brought back in2008 to enable users to post polls on their profile and share themwith other users.In 2009 Myspace added a new status update feature. If a Myspace userhas a Twitter account, the tweet will also update the Myspacestatus.March 2010 Myspace added features like recommendation engine for newusers which suggests games, music and videos based on theirprevious search habits.Summer ’10 Myspace changed their color scheme. The classic blue wasreplaced by a more white interface, to resemble the look and feel ofFacebook, and to attract users of Facebook to join or rejoinMyspace.
By: Christy Young 37Sept. 2010 Myspace continued to work on improving the website. A photossection was added and the Fotoflexer app was added to photos.Nov 2007 Myspace and Bebo joined the Google-led OpenSocial alliance,which already includes Friendster, Hi5, LinkedIn, Plaxo, Ning andSixApart. OpenSocial was to promote a common set of standardsfor software developers to write programs for social networks.Facebook remained independent.Community Growth:The first Myspace users were eUniverse employees. The company held conteststo see who could sign up the most users.While Facebook focused on creating a platform that allowed outside developersto build new applications, Myspace built everything in-house. Shawn Gold,Myspaces former head of marketing and content, said "Myspace went too wideand not deep enough in its product development. We went with a lot of productsthat were shallow and not the best products in the world." The products divisionhad introduced many features (communication tools such as instant messaging,a classifieds program, a video player, a music player, a virtual karaoke machine,a self-serve advertising platform, profile-editing tools, security systems, privacyfilters, and Myspace book lists, among others), however these were often buggyand slow as there was insufficient testing, measuring, and iterating.Leadership / Staffing:June 2009 Myspace employed approximately 1,600 workers.June 2009 A layoff of 37.5% of its workforce, reducing employees from 1,600to 1,000.Jan 2011 It was announced that the Myspace staff would be reduced by 47%.June 2011 Myspace reduced its staff to around 200.
By: Christy Young 40Tumblr is a microblogging platform and social networkingwebsite.MilestonesApril 2007 Tumblr was launched Beta stage on April 27, 2007 by David Karp.May 2007 Within two weeks of its launch, the service had gained 75,000users.Nov 2007 Tumblr officially launched on Nov. 1, 2007, after a few months inbeta mode.July 2010 The site receives 25,000 new users each day.June 2011 Tumblr passed competitor WordPress in number of blogs hostedwith more than 20 million.July 2011 Tumblr scored 13.4 million unique visitors in the U.S.Feb 2012 Tumblr had over 46.2 million blogs.Financials
By: Christy Young 41Oct 2007 750,000 K by Union Square and Spark Capital.Dec 2008 4.5 million by Union Square Ventures and Spark Capital.April 2010 10 million by Union Square Ventures and Spark Capital.Nov 2010 30 million by Sequoia Capital, Spark Capital, and Union SquareVentures.Sep 2011 85 million led by Greylock Partners and insight Venture partners,also including The Cherning Group, Sir Richard Branson, SparkCapital, Union Square Ventures and Sequoia Capital.Tumblrs original funding came from Karps earnings as a software consultant atparenting site UrbanBaby. Tumblr has raised funding from Union SquareVentures, Spark Capital, Martín Varsavsky, John Borthwick (Betaworks), FredSeibert, and Sequoia Capital (among other investors).
By: Christy Young 42The company had a $800 million valuation in August 2011. In September 2011,the company raised $85 million in a round of funding led by Greylock Partnersand Insight Venture Partners.Technology GrowthOn 28 February, 2012, Tumblr launched a redesign of its dashboard icons.Community Growth• 500 million page views go through Tumblr every single day.• 40k requests added each second at Tumblr’s peak usage hours.• 50GB of posts added each day; follower list updates are roughly another2.7 terabytes daily.• 1M number of writes made through the dashboard each second, and50,000 reads per second source.The service is most popular with the teen and college-aged user segments; fiftypercent of Tumblrs visitor base is under the age of 25. As of 2009, Tumblr hadan 85% retention rate, compared with 40% for Twitter.February 27, 2012, Tumblr had over 46.2 million blogs and more than 18 billiontotal posts.Leadership / Staffing:April 2007 CEO and COO are only employeesAs of mid-2011, Tumblr has around 10 employeesCurrent employees listed on Linkedin: 51-200
By: Christy Young 44Foursquare is a web and mobile application that allowsregistered users to post their location at a venue ("check-in")and connect with friends.MilestonesMarch 2009 Launched with limited availability in only 100 worldwide metroareas.Jan 2010 Foursquare changed their location model to allow check-ins fromany location worldwide.Feb 2011 Foursquare reached 7 million users IDsJune 2011 The company reported it had 10 million registered usersFinancialsFoursquare is principally funded by Union Square Ventures, AndreessenHorowitz, and O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures. The company raised $1.35 million inits Series A and $20 million in its Series B round. On June 24, 2011 foursquareraised $50 million on a $600 million valuation.Technology GrowthAugust 26, 2010, foursquare rolled out a new feature which notifies users of thenumber of days left before he or she is crowned "Mayor."September 23, 2010, foursquare announced that users could now earn badgesfor completing tasks as well as checking in.Each time a user checks into a place, he or she receives points. Scores breakdown as follows:• Checking in to a new place – 5 points.• Adding a new venue – 5 points.• Being the first of the users friends to check into a new location - 3 points• Checking in to a place the user has been before – 1 point.• Location multiplier for each place a user goes in a day – 1 point perlocation.• Points for checking in with the same friend at multiple locations - BFFbonus.Foursquare Brands allows companies to create pages of tips and allows usersto “follow” the company and receive special, expert tips from them when they
By: Christy Young 45check-in at certain locations. Some of the companies even allow users to unlockspecial badges with enough check-ins.The service provides three levels of "Superuser status" (which is not to beconfused with the "Super User" badge). Superuser status is conferred on userswho have been selected by foursquare staff for their helpful contributions to thecommunity.All superusers can review a queue of requested changes for a single city, andcan select a new city at will.• Superuser level 1 can edit venue info (name, address, cross street,phone, Twitter names, map pin location), mark venues as open or closed,request venue merges and deletions, and edit venue tags.• Superuser level 2 can additionally merge duplicate venue listings, adjustthe latitude and longitude of a venue, add a web address, and addcategories.• Superuser level 3 adds the ability to create and remove venue aliases, aswell as access a "global queue" of pending requests needing superuserattention.Community Growth
By: Christy Young 46Male/female users are equally represented and also 50 percent of users areoutside the US.Users as of April 2012: 15 million.Leadership / Staffing:Employees as of 2012: approx. 100 (51-200)
By: Christy Young 48StumbleUpon is a discovery engine (a form of web searchengine) that finds and recommends web content to its users.MilestonesNov 2001 Founded by Garrett Camp, Geoff Smith, Justin LaFrance and EricBoyd.May 2007 StumbleUpon was purchased by eBay.April 2009 Founders Garrett Camp and Geoff Smith and other investorsincluding Ram Shriram bought the company.2005 The site caught the interest of angel investors, where it landed $1.2million in funding and then in 2005, $1.5 million in seed funding.2006 Garrett Camp and Geoff Smith moved to San Francisco andlaunched StumbleUpon Video.2007 StumbleThru launched, allowing stumbling content on specific siteslike YouTube and Flickr.May 2007 StumbleUpon was bought by eBay for $75 million (5.5 years afterits initial founding).2008 Traffic dropped by around 70% in comparison to the previous year.2009 StumbleUpon launches su.pr, bringing in the toolbar and allowingusers to stumble directly from the site.March 2009 StumbleUpon raises Series A funding (rumored to be at $29million), which is folded into buying back the company from eBay.Garrett Camp and Geoff Smith buy back the company (along withvarious investors) for a rumored $25 million.Late 2009 StumbleUpon introduces the “New” StumbleUpon, which allowsstumbling without signing up.2010 Marc Leibowitz leaves Google and joins StumbleUpon as the VP ofBusiness Development and Marketing.2011 StumbleUpon raises $17 million in Series B funding along withreports of the site generating 800 recommendations a month.2011 The site reports 20 million users and 1 billion stumbles a month.Oct 2011 StumbleUpon made changes to the site by deleting their user-generated content, HTML blogging, standalone blog posts, andability to photoblog. All their previous blog posts converted fromHTML to plain text and all photos were deleted. This was done tofocus their efforts on their recommendation engine rather thanexpand to include blogging platforms.FinancialsStumbleUpon is now an independent, investor-backed startup once again, withoffices in San Francisco and New York City.2005 The site caught the interest of angel investor, Brad ONeill who tooknotice of the company and assisted with a move to San Francisco,
By: Christy Young 49as well as brought in subsequent fund-raising totaling $1.2 millionfrom other angel investors including Ram Shriram (Google), MitchKapor (Mozilla Foundation), First Round Capital, and Ron Conway,and then in 2005, $1.5 million in seed funding.May 2007 StumbleUpon was bought by eBay for $75 million (5.5 years afterits initial founding).March 2009 StumbleUpon raised Series A funding (rumored to be at $29million), which is folded into buying back the company from eBay.April 2009 Garrett Camp and Geoff Smith buy back the company (along withvarious investors) for a rumored $25 million.2011 StumbleUpon raises $17 million in Series B funding along withreports of the site generating 800 recommendations a month.Technology GrowthThe algorithm behind StumbleUpon uses three data points to determine the typeof new sites that users “stumble” across. The first is based off of the interests thatusers have identified as relevant to them. The second is based off of the sitesthat have been deemed as “thumbs up” and “thumbs down,” which helps thealgorithm identify other users who have exhibited similar voting behavior. Thethird is based off of the types of individuals that users have befriended on thesite.Oct 2011 StumbleUpon deleted years worth of user-generated content, andremoved HTML blogging, standalone blog posts, andphotoblogging capabilities. Additionally, all previous blog postswere converted from HTML to plain text, and all photos weredeleted from previous blog posts.Dec 2006 StumbleUpon launched their StumbleVideo site athttp://video.stumbleupon.com/. The new site allows users without atoolbar to "stumble" through all the videos that toolbar users havesubmitted and rate them using an Ajax interface.Feb 2007 StumbleUpon launched a version of StumbleVideo for the InternetChannel Web browser that runs on the Wii console.April 2007 StumbleUpon launched the StumbleThru service, allowing users ofthe toolbar to stumble within sites such as YouTube, The Onion,Public Broadcasting Service and Wikipedia.March 2009 StumbleUpon launched the Su.pr an URL shortening service Beta.May 2009 The su.pr service is available to all StumbleUpon users.Community GrowthDec 2002 StumbleUpon had 1 million users.May 2010 StumbleUpon has more than 10 million users.
By: Christy Young 50Aug 2011 StumbleUpon reached the 25 billion stumble mark, at which pointthey were adding over 1 billion stumbles per month.Oct 2011 StumbleUpon announced that it had over 20 million registeredusers of the service.Leadership / Staffing:Current: 51-200 Employees
By: Christy Young 53Reddit is a social news website where the registered userssubmit content, in the form of either a link or a text "self" post.MilestonesJune 2005 Reddit was originally founded by Steve Huffman and AlexisOhanian.June 2005 Reddit received $100 K in fuding from Y Combinator.. In thebeginning Steve and Alexis submitted most of the links from manyfake accounts.Oct 2006 Reddit was acquired by Condé Nast Publications; had 500,000daily unique.Jan 2008 Reddit added the ability to allow anyone to create their ownsubreddits.June 2008 Reddit became an open source.Oct 2009 Steve Huffman left Reddit.Dec 2009 First RedditGift exchange, 4,500 Redditors spent $185,000.Dec 2009 Reddit launches Selfserce Advertising.July 2010 Reddit Gold launched.Aug 2010 Digg v4 released.Aug 2010 Reddit post’s took over the homepage of Digg, starting the massexodus to Reddit.Sept 2010 Restoring Truthiness Campaign started on Reddit; ended up raising$600,000 for Donors Choose.Nov 2010 Alexis Ohanian left and joined Steve Huffman to found Hipmunk.Dec 2010 2ndRedditGift exchange with 17,000+ participants spending over$660,000.Aug 2011 Reddit acquires RedditGifts.April 2011 Reddit takes over Digg in ranking.Feb 2011 Surpassed 1 billion page views a month; average time on site 15min 40 sec.Sept 2011 Reddit hits 1.6 billion page views per month.Sept 2011 Reddit was split from Condé Nast, and now operates as asubsidiary of Condé Nasts parent company, Advance Publications.FinancialsJune 2005 Reddit was originally founded by Steve Huffman and AlexisOhanian.June 2005 Reddit received $100 K in fuding from Y Combinator.Technology Growth
By: Christy Young 54Reddit was originally written in Common Lisp but was rewritten in Python in2005. The reasons given for the switch were faster performance, wider access tocode libraries, and greater development flexibility. The Python web frameworkthat former Reddit employee Aaron Swartz developed to run the site, web.py, isnow available as an open-source project.Reddit currently uses Pylons as its web framework. As of November 2009,Reddit has decommissioned their physical servers and migrated to Amazon WebServices.Reddit uses PostgreSQL as primary datastore and slowly moving to ApacheCassandra, a column oriented datastore. It uses RabbitMQ for offline processing,HAProxy for load balancing and memcached for caching. In early 2009, Redditstarted using jQuery.On July 21, 2010, Reddit outsourced the Reddit search engine to Flaptor, whoused its search product IndexTank.Community GrowthThe median U.S. Reddit user is male (72%), 25–34 years of age, has somecollege education, and is in the lowest income bracket of US$0–$24,999. Theanalysis also shows that many of the top ten audience interests are in the techfield, suggesting a computer savvy demographic.Leadership / Staffing:July 2010, after explosive traffic growth, Reddit introduced Reddit Gold, offeringnew features for a price of US$3.99/month or US$29.99/year. The revenue andattention got them approval to buy more servers and employ more people.Current staff 1-10 employees.
By: Christy Young 58http://www.stumbleupon.com/interest/historyhttp://socialtimes.com/history-of-stumbleupons-influence-on-the-internet-infographic_b82227Redditwww.reddit.comhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reddithttp://thenextweb.com/socialmedia/2011/10/14/a-rundown-of-reddits-history-and-community-infographic/http://sortable.com/blog/the-reddit-invasion/http://bigbusinessideas.org/the-history-of-reddit-com/http://www.crunchbase.com/company/reddit