Revolutionary Changes in Communication: Social Media Sites Explored - Essay Sample

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  7
Wordcount:  1685 Words
Date:  2023-02-06


Over the years, there has been a myriad of changes in the communication field. Different types of communication media have emerged to ease customer experience. Social media, is one of the communication tools, that have entered the market and has contributed to revolutionary changes. Some examples of social media sites include Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram, and Snapchat. These social sites allow users to interact with their friends as they have made their presence in the market by having members join their networks for communication purposes. Social media makes globalization a reality as it makes human interaction more convenient. This paper analyzes social media platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram. The analysis covers the history and evolution of the social media platforms, their features, characteristics of its audience, demographics, motivation to use the platform, advertising of the platform, the return on investments and marketing metrics of the platforms as well as the future steps for the platform. Social media networks are important because they enhance convenience in communication.

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History and Evolution

Facebook was founded by Mark Zuckerberg for social purposes. Boyd (2019, p.1) asserted that in 2004, Mark Zuckerberg created a platform called "thefacebook." Initially, he opened the platform for students in Harvard and had the Harvard email address and 50% of the students had signed up within the first month (Boyd, 2019, p.1). However, his decision to create "thefacebook" landed Mark Zuckerberg a lawsuit because fellow students Cameron Winklevoss, Tyler Winklevoss, and Divya Narendra said he stole their concepts and wanted compensation (Boyd, 2019, p.1). The matter was later resolved. Towards the end of 2004, membership for "thefacebook" was open to all students across universities in America and Canada (Boyd, 2019, p.1). In August 2005, "the" was dropped and the company officially became Facebook. In 2006, the platform became open for everyone to use as long as they were 13 years and above and had a valid email address (Boyd, 2019, p.1). After 2006, more people joined the platform. By 2019, Facebook has over 2.41 billion users.


Facebook allows users to create their profile, upload a photo, share their interests, and connect with other people. Through uploading photos, users can tag their friends and share memories. Also, Facebook has an open marketplace, which was created in 2007 where users post advertisements for their products and services (Boyd, 2019, p.1). Besides that, it has a developer platform where users create their games and applications that integrate with Facebook (Boyd, 2019, p.1).

Characteristics of Its Audience

According to Boyd (2019, p.1), initially, Facebook's target audiences were high school students and those in colleges. Today, Facebook has a universal appeal where people across all ages use the platform. The age range of most users from Facebook is 18-24 years.


Clement (2019, p.1) provided the following demographics of Facebook users worldwide as of January 2018,

13-17 years :2.6% females and 3.3% males

18-24 years: 10% females and 16% males

25-34 years: 13% females and 19% males

35-44 years: 7.2% females and 9.2% males

45-54 years: 4.9% females and 5.2% males

55-64 years: 3.1% females and 2.7% males

65 years and above: 2.2% females and 2% males

Motivation to Use the Platform

Facebook allows interaction between users since it permits users to post on other people's pages, post and tag videos, as well as have private talks on Facebook messenger.

Return on Investments and Marketing Metrics

Advertisers on Facebook use pages. Some of the marketing matrix used by the platform include page likes and follows, engagement, reach, and video engagement. Sweeney (2019, p.1) stated that for marketers investing in advertisements on Facebook, the return on investment increased an average index value of 2.5 in 2018. By 2018, Facebook's revenue was $55 billion annually, which has made it successful (Sweeney, 2019, p.1).


History and Evolution

LinkedIn was founded by Reid Hoffman in 2002 and launched it on May 5th, 2003 for business purposes (LinkedIn Evolution Timeline, 2017, p.1). The social media platform has brought professional people together worldwide and changed the way people find jobs and potential employees. By August 2004, the social site had 1 million users. By March 2006, the company began to receive profits (LinkedIn Evolution Timeline, 2017, p.1). By 2007, the social site had already acquired 10 million users (LinkedIn Evolution Timeline, 2017, p.1). Over the years, LinkedIn began target advertising in 2008, acquired an office in India in 2009, had their first acquisition, mSpoke, in 2010, and traded its first shares in 2011 (LinkedIn Evolution Timeline, 2017, p.1). The social platform had many acquisitions such as Pulse in 2013, in 2014, and expanded in China in the same year (LinkedIn Evolution Timeline, 2017, p.1). By 2015, LinkedIn invested in and Microsoft bought LinkedIn in December 2016 (LinkedIn Evolution Timeline, 2017, p.1). By 2017, the social platform had over 500 million users with the majority of them being 25-34 years (LinkedIn Evolution Timeline, 2017, p.1).


LinkedIn is SEO-rich where the user can be easily found if somebody googles their name. Also, it offers 19 different applications that the user can add to their profile. The platform gives users the option of saving their searches, hiding their profiles, exporting their connections, and adding media to their profile.

Characteristics of Its Audience

People who join LinkedIn are business-oriented.


Clement (2019, p.1) provided the distribution of LinkedIn users worldwide by gender and determined that 43% were females while 57% were males.

Motivation to Use the Platform

People join the platform to find jobs and advance their career.

Return on Investments and Marketing Metrics

The marketing metrics for LinkedIn is for the user to leverage their professional network and get hired. Microsoft bought LinkedIn for $26.2 billion (Yurief, 2017, p.1). Yearly, LinkedIn brings $1 billion for Microsoft (Yurief, 2017, p.1).


History and Evolution

McArthur (2019, p.1) stated that Twitter was co-founded in 2006 by Jack Dorsey. Originally, Dorsey envisioned Twitter as an SMS-based communication platform where users could interact and keep tabs on each other by looking at status updates (McArthur, 2019, p.1). During the initial days of founding twitter, it was referred to as twttr. In the initial days of its development, users would be charged for sending SMS on their phone bill (McArthur, 2019, p.1). Twitter evolved in 2007 after the South by Southwest Conference where over 60,000 tweets were sent per day (McArthur, 2019, p.1). During those years, users had no way of replying to other user's tweets. Users would use the @ symbol in front of another user's name within a tweet (McArthur, 2019, p.1). Overtime, hashtags became an integral part of the platform (McArthur, 2019, p.1). In 2010, the retweet icon was added to the platform (McArthur, 2019, p.1). Today, Twitter has over 126 million users daily.


Twitter has a 140-character limit and if users needed to write more than 140 characters, they would need to send more than one tweet.

Characteristics of Its Audience

Majority of people who use Twitter are 18-24 years.


Clement (2019, p.1) provides the following demographics for Twitter users worldwide by age group,

13-17 years: 8%

18-24 years 31%

25-34 years: 27.3%

35-49 years: 20.6%

50 years and above: 13.3%

Motivation to Use the Platform

Hashtags in the platform keep users motivated as they can get updates on the things that interest them.

Return on Investments and Marketing Metrics

The marketing metrics for Twitter include brand follower growth, audience type, engagement rate, average tweet performance, and video completion. Twitter has been successful as most of their money is earned from advertising. Beers (2019, p.1) stated that in the first quarter of 2019, Twitter made $787 million, which is an increase of 18% year over year.


History and Evolution

Instagram is a photo-sharing application that was developed in San Francisco by Systrom and Mike Krieger (Tolentino, 2012, p.1). The two launched the Instagram app on iTunes on October 6th, 2010 (Tolentino, 2012, p.1). In 2011, it was named Apple's app of the year. In 2011, Instagram went into a partnership with Hipstamatic, a digital photography application for IOS devices, which allowed IOS user to export their photos directly into Instagram (Tolentino, 2012, p.1). Also, in 2012, Facebook bought Instagram for $1 billion (Simon, 2019, p.1). Today, Instagram has over 1 billion users worldwide and the number keeps getting bigger because of the Android launches.


Since its launch, Instagram has features like hashtags, new and live filters, tilt-shift, optional borders, one-click rotation, and high-resolution photos (Tolentino, 2012, p.1).

Characteristics of its Audience

Instagram's most active users are between 18-29 years who enjoy taking photos and posting them on their timeline often.


Clement (2019, p.1) provides the following demographics of Instagram users worldwide by age and gender,

13-17 years: 3.2% females and 3% males

18-24 years: 15% females and 16% males

25-34 years: 17% for both males and females

35-44 years: 8.8% females and 7% males

45-54 years: 4.4% females and 3% males

55-64 years: 1.8% females and 1.1% males

65 years and above: 1.1% females and 0.8% males

Motivation to Use the Platform

For entertainment purposes as users can edit their photos using a myriad of filters available on Instagram and post the photos on their timelines for memories.

Return on Investments and Marketing Metrics

Instagram makes money through ads. The marketing metrics for Instagram are follower growth, Instagram stories metrics, engagements per follower, comments received, reach, and referral traffic. After Facebook bought Instagram in 2012 for $1 billion, by 2018, Instagram was worth $100 billion, which accounted for 88% of its revenues (Simon, 2019, p.1).


In the future, social media platforms need to work on staying relevant. For example, due to the numerous security hitches associated with Facebook, the platform can stay relevant in the future by demonstrating a commitment to security. LinkedIn is important for a person's professional future. To stay relevant, it would be important for the platform to put emphasis on regular updates and ensure profiles have professional information so users can be up-to-date with jobs in the market. Also, Twitter can stay relevant by making acquisitions and mergers that would give it a competitive edge in the social advertising space. Additionally, Instagram can stay relevant by making photo enthusiasts access everything that is happening in the world in real-time. Overall, all of these social media platforms should respond to the demographics' needs and wants as well as provide convenience to users so they would not keep moving from one platform to another.


Beers, B. (2019). How does Twitter make Money? Investopedia. Retrieved from

Boyd, J. (2019). The History of Facebook: From BASIC to Global Giant. Brandwatch. Retrieved from

Clement, J. (2019). Distribution of Facebook users worldwide as of July 2019, by age and gender. Statista. Retrieved from

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