Mark Zuckerburg and other individuals
Microsoft owns 1.3%
Digital Sky Technologies owns 10%
Although the Facebook ownership map may not look big, in fact it only consists of one other company, but they dominate the social media sphere. After researching big conglomerate companies such as Disney and GE, I realize it is in no way on the “big 6” level, but I think it has potential to reach that level. Facebook bought out the rising photo editing and sharing application Instagram while it was booming and most recently attempted to buy out the ever so popular Snapchat, signs that Facebook is entering into the business side of social media.
The “big 6” may be huge conglomerates that own consumer products, media outlets, theme parks, film productions, and so much more, but what they lack that Facebook has invested in is the future generation. Apps such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat have a potentially huge future awaiting them. Facebook does not have a concentration of ownership on the social media world yet, but they have and are clearly trying to attempt to monopolize the revenue of social media. Theories on why they bought Instagram consist of Facebook wanting to get rid of the leading competitor and to eventually create a revenue model for Instagram.
Facebook buying Instagram and attempting to buy out Snapchat shows an attempt at horizontal integration. If FB were to end up owning Snapchat and Twitter on top Instagram, they would have ownership across the social media sphere. The challenge with getting a monopoly on social media or of integration within the social media world is that new social media apps pop up daily and whether or not they will be successful is solely up to the users. So realistically a monopoly of this world would be impossible.
Just like with other media, especially newspaper as we discussed in class, Facebook’s main revenue comes from advertisers. If FB were to dominate the social media world, companies would only want to advertise with Facebook, which would result in synergy. No other company would be able to compete in the social media world unless they had many strong investors which would be unlikely because smart investors would invest in Facebook and the companies they own because they would be the successful ones.
What’s different about social media compared to news media is that the public creates the content so the fact that profit is the main goal for investors and owners has yet to cause a problem. News media only focusing on the business side results in poor content or infotainment. News media has a presence in social media, but it is completely up to the public what they post. Therefore I don’t see harm in concentration of ownership, but I also don’t think it is as realistic in the digital age. New application will be forever popping up and who knows which one will make it big.