Social media war: Who’s making money, how much and from where

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Jun 15, 2016 17:31 IST
Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, LinkedIn and Google+ are the top social media networks in terms of users and revenue. (Fotolia)

Microsoft will buy LinkedIn for $26.2 billion in its biggest-ever deal. The move is seen as an effort to make the software company a major force in next-generation computing.

LinkedIn will remain its own entity in the way that YouTube is relatively independent from parent Alphabet, or Instagram from parent Facebook.

Monday’s deal raised investors’ hopes that another social media company, Twitter, could be the next acquisition target, sending that company’s shares up almost 4%.

Here is where the top five social networks currently stand and how they have grown over the years:

Financials – Who is making how much money?

The Business model


  • Revenues and advertising makes more than 60% of Facebook’s revenue
  • Revenue from payments and other fees makes the rest
  • WhatsApp

  • WhatsApp had recently announced that they will not charge single penny from users in lifetime and also they won’t take third party advertisements.

    Its parent company Facebook is now exploring ways to make the app to communicate: either Business-to-Business (B2B) communication or Business-to-Consumer (B2C) communication.

  • LinkedIn

  • They currently have 3 revenue streams:
  • Premium subscriptions, accounting for about 20% of their revenue
  • Marketing solutions(ie advertising), accounting for about 25% of their revenue
  • Talent solutions (i.e. recruiting tools for HR), accounting for the remaining 55% of their revenue
  • Twitter

  • Twitter is a micro-blogging site that limits each tweet to 140 characters. It derives revenues from advertising and licensing its data.
  • Advertising is the larger of the two segments and growing at a faster rate. The advertising model utilized by Twitter is relatively straight forward and consists of three buckets:
  • 1) Promoted Tweets
  • 2) Promoted Trends
  • 3) Promoted Accounts
  • Also read | Twitter invests $70 mn in music streaming service SoundCloud

    Microsoft to acquire LinkedIn for $26.2 billion in biggest ever tech deal

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