Who would have thought that Facebook would have bought What’s App in February for $16 billion ($4 billion in cash, 12 billion in stock) back in 2013. It was a huge surprise. Personally, I didn’t use it that much until some of my cousins in Colombia added me to their chat groups. Now I use it every single day and chat to about 40 aunts and cousins on a daily basis.
Not only that, I showed my father how to use it. He is 82 and living in Miami, communicates with his 4 sisters, nieces and nephews who live in Colombia every day. That is priceless. When he doesn’t communicate for over 8 hours, like when he is playing golf, his sisters want to know where he is at.
According to the New York Times, What’s App is now valued at $28 billion even though it lost money. Currently, What’s App doesn’t have ads and I predict that by March, 2015 ads on What’s App will start rolling in. It took one and a half years for Facebook to announce that ads were rolling into Instagram. At the moment, only certain brands with a large following have access to them.
Right now, Instagram is only allowing pre-selected brand partners to advertise. You’re already familiar with these brands on Instagram — adidas, Ben & Jerry’s, Burberry, GE, Lexus, Levi’s, Macy’s, Michael Kors, PayPal, and Starwood — because they’ve built pretty a impressive Instagram presence organically.
Recently, Citigroup valued Instagram at a whopping $35 billion. And two years ago, we gasped at the $1 billion purchase! I predict that some major company will purchase Pinterest in the $30 billion plus range. Michael Copeland from Wired Magazine said in October 2013, that contenders could be Google, Amazon or Ebay. I think Microsoft could be a contender. They haven’t bought a major social network and who knows what is store now that Nadella is the new CEO.
Let’s take a look at the main Social Networks owned by huge companies:
- Twitter owns Vine.
- Facebook owns Instagram and What’s App. They tried to buy Snapchat but the offer was turned down.
- Google owns You Tube and Google Plus
- Yahoo owns Tumblr and Flickr
- Pinterest- ??
Pinterest is ripe for a huge purchase because it has much more potential for users who want to use social media marketing and is also very addicting. I personally love it, but I limit my time on it because I can get lost in it in the awesome visuals. Instagram is very tricky because you can’t have hyperlinks in your posts. With Pinterest, you can easily do that and repins go a long way. Sometimes a pin I posted a year ago gets repinned now.
They also have improved their search algorithms this year and have analytics built in. I mainly use Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. If I had more free time, I would choose Pinterest over Instagram and G plus. I did try to incorporate G Plus this year, but it didn’t happen. It also didn’t help that alot of people are predicting it’s demise. Danny Sullivan writes a great post about it putting G+ branding on the side and having more focus on it as an app.
As a user, I personally cannot engage fully in more than three social networks because I work full time. If I did, I would burn out and I like to balance my life by exercising, hanging out with family and friends, dining, beach, reading and many other things. There is only so much my brain can handle online. For a company, with a full social media staff and depending on the budget, I say go all the way with social media marketing at least 6 to get the most distribution.
Here is a great infographic from Curata on trends for 2015 and Cheers for a productive and exciting New Year!