Will Social Media shut down impact Businesses?



Social Media platforms have become an important part of both personal and professional life of a person. Earlier these were used as a mode of recreation for people but gradually these platforms are playing an important part to shape up a business. From large enterprises to small businesses, all use these mediums to promote and endorse their products and services.WhatsApp is adding around a million users per day, mostly in Latin America, India and Europe. With SMS apps, growth is exponential – when one person in a social group downloads and advocates using the app, many new users download the app in order to communicate with the original person.

Today, networks like FacebookInstagram, and Twitter are essential for brands to remain relevant and attract talent. The social media has become embedded in our society. It is also an extension of our business life and rooted into our corporate culture. Not only businesses are reaping maximum advantage of social media, political parties are also using them as a mode to influence voters. It has helped political parties to win elections.       

In literal sense, social media refers to the means of interactions among people in which they create, share, and/or exchange information and ideas in virtual communities and networks. In the busy schedule, people find a way through social media platforms like Facebook, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and Instagram to keep them entertained. In 2012 Instagram was acquired by Facebook an estimated $1 billion. Instagram, a photo-sharing social networking app by Facebook has reported more than 1 billion monthly active users worldwide and the daily active users stands at 500 million. With over 120 million active Instagram users, the United States are the leading market base. If it is being compared between the top apps, Facebook, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and Instagram, WhatsApp comes out to be most growing, ahead of its stablemates Facebook Messenger and Instagram, behind only Facebook itself.

As of the first quarter of 2019, Facebook had 2.38 billion monthly active users. The company has reported that 2.7 billion people were using at least one of the company's core products (Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, or Messenger) each month.India alone has over 300 million Facebook users. This makes India, the leading country in terms of Facebook audience size. Apart from India, there are several other markets with more than 100 million Facebook users each - The United States, Brazil, and Indonesia with 190 million, 120 million, and again 120 million Facebook users respectively. Facebook Loses $6.3 Million for Every Hour of Downtime,when we calculate the revenue of 2018, Facebook reported $55.8 billion in revenue.

Facebook is currently the biggest social networking service based on global reach and total active users. Its users can also interact with a wide selection of applications including the photo-sharing app Instagram. The social network is also accessible to mobile web users through Facebook Messenger, which had 1.3 billion monthly active users as of September 2017. Though WhatsApp, with some 200 million more users is in the number one spot.

WhatsApp was created in 2009 by two former Yahoo employees, Brian Acton and Jan Koum. Facebook acquired WhatsApp in 2014 for $19 billion. 1.5 billion users in 180 countries makes it the most-popular messaging app in the world. It has one billion daily active users. It is estimated that India is the biggest WhatsApp market in the world, with 200 million users, prior to Brazil with 120 million. Whereas in the US, WhatsApp market is relatively small with 23 million users.WhatsApp's financial statements aren't public (Facebook doesn't break down its revenue by company), Forbes estimated total revenue to be $5 billion and the average revenue per user to be $4 by 2020. As of February 2018, WhatsApp had over 1.5 billion users and sees 60 billion messages sent per day, according to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in a Q4 2017 conference call.

Now,as Facebook is planning to integrate WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook messenger, allow cross-platform messaging. The integration will allow cross platform messaging and end-to-end encryption on all three and It will make Facebook's control over WhatsApp and Instagram data all the more evident.

It has been recently reported that Facebook is working to make messages across Facebook Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp work together to run as standalone apps, a strategy that the social network says could improve privacy but also keep users within its ecosystem of applications. Those apps all have separate messaging systems currently. That integration would not only increase user activity within Facebook's applications, but also give the company potential revenue generating opportunities through increased ad sales and new services.

A recent report claims internal clashes continue and have only intensified with the move for integration. The year 2019 witness clash for two times in one year.The integration, which is said to be completed by 2020, requires a big overhaul in how the three apps work at the deepest and most basic levels. It will most probably require assigning of unique identities to all common users of the three apps and creating new ones for individual app users to create a common messaging platform. Which means you could get a common Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp ID that purportedly allows you to message someone having just one (of the three) account.

WhatsApp will help fuel Facebook growth in developing markets where internet connectivity is sparse but where WhatsApp is widely used. Facebook will then gain access to these mobile user bases.Social media took a more active role in combatting election interference.

Social Media outrage

Last week, users across globe including India experienced an outage on the three social media platforms - WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram. Since all the three platforms belong to one family, users faced problems posting on these sites. On Facebook, users were not able to view specific posts or photos even after the page was shown to be loading. Users were facing problem to send photos, videos and voice messages on WhatsApp and on Instagram people failed to upload photos in various parts of the world.

If social media platform shuts down, what will be the Impact on business?

Social media is the most common and easiest way to communicate. If any day these platforms cease to exist then remote communication like sending simple messages to critical files that need to be delivered elsewhere will be put on a hold. However,Facebook lost 3 million users in Europe alone (and about $120 billion in market value) after the Cambridge Analytica scandal, at the same time Social media used for spreading spam and malware: Social networkingsites like Twitter and Facebook are often used to spread malware.

The report found that 80 percent of respondents got a malware infection through Web surfing. In contrast, 60 percent said email was the route by which they had been infected by malware. Only 20 blamed social media or Web 2.0 applications for malware infecting their networks. Social networks net criminals $3bn a year in illicit profits. The researchers further estimates that up to 40 percent of malware infections on social media originate from malvertising, while at least 30 percent come from plugins and malicious applications.

Also, as it has become a major platform of showcasing and endorsing the products and services for many large enterprises, SMEs and start-ups, their businesses will suffer a great loss in terms of marketing operations. Marketing research, analysis, brand awareness, customer relations, and campaign executions will be compromised in such a way that established brands will be left with no choice but to revert to the old traditional ways of doing these painstaking tasks; SMEs will have trouble in promoting their products and startups will experience major setbacks in the nesting and development of their projects.   

We should also keep this in mind that as these social media platforms are multi-billion dollar companies, and if these companies happen to close their shutters, it is going to hit the global economy very badly. Moreover, it will also result into large number of unemployment. 


And so

As we cannot imagine our life without social media, it is also true that social platforms are easy to get exploited by cyber criminals. It is the most viable source of endless data channels. Any device that can connect to the internet can be breached. Moreover, the new concept of BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) followed by many corporate are exposing the company in front of cyber criminals.

Although, it is true that social media is the easiest route for cyber crime, it also needs to be highlighted that in spite of the cyber risk, it has become an integral part for both an individual and a business. So as a user we need to be responsible enough before using social media channels. 

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