The Business of Social Media

Social media. Everyone has it, everyone uses it. In the past couple of years, it has seemingly dominated the internet, with mega-platforms such as Facebook, Youtube, Instagram, and Twitter getting the most attention. They are immensely popular, generating hundreds of millions of users from around the globe. The companies are worth billions and their CEOs are among the richest people in the world. Between July and September of 2016, Facebook saw $7 billion US in revenue. Since their services are free to users, you might wonder how they actually make money.

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The Filter Bubble

Having evolved from their frivolous origins, online networks are now being used to mitigate crises, crowdsource journalism, connect multinational enterprises, and countless other uses.

But our over-reliance on these networks often involves a hefty price tag.

Surveys have revealed that an astonishing number of individuals receive their news from social media — by some estimates, over 40% of adults. While this may, on the one hand, be hailed as progress towards an informed society, there is heavy concern about the so-called “echo-chamber” bias.

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