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Summary

Over the course of the first nine months of 2015, developments relating to social media companies have accelerated. Of the social media companies covered in Ovum’s Social Media Tracker: 3Q15, Facebook and Twitter continue to be the most active, accounting for 113 of the 138 announcements (81.9%) to the end of September 2015. By comparison, in the first nine months of 2014, Ovum tracked 97 announcements relating to social media companies.

Rate of updates increases as brands fight to remain relevant

Twitter is catching up with Facebook for the number of announcements either made by or relating to social media companies. During the nine months to end-September 2015, the number of announcements relating to Twitter totaled 50, compared to 63 for Facebook. By comparison, in the first nine months of 2014, the number of Twitter-related announcements totaled just 16, while the number of announcements relating to Facebook totaled 73. In 2015, the next most active social media companies were Pinterest, with seven announcements, and Google+, with four.

Twitter has been under significant pressure during 2015: User growth is slowing, and the company has failed to meet its quarterly revenue projections. The increased number of announcements for Twitter reflects the fact that the social media site has been actively trying to increase its engagement with brands by adding new categories of advertising inventory, while at the same time working to enhance and add to the services it offers users.

Of the 138 announcements made by all social media companies in the first nine months of 2015, 70 related to service updates, 23 to launches, 16 to partnerships, and 12 to usage data. By comparison, in the first nine months of 2014, 24 announcements related to service updates, 30 to launches, 15 to usage data, and nine to mergers and acquisitions (just six related to partnerships).

In the first nine months of 2015, 110 announcements applied to the global operations of social media companies, with eight applicable to the Americas and seven to Asia and Oceania. This is broadly in line with the proportions of total announcements to date (i.e. since 1Q13), with 73% applying to global operations, 9% to Asia and Oceania, and 6% to the Americas.

The strong trend towards announcements relating to mobile services continues, with mobile-only accounting for 79 (49%) of the total in the first nine months of 2015. However, converged is playing a bigger role, with announcements relating to fixed and mobile services comprising 45% of the total.

Ovum’s Social Media Tracker tracks a variety of announcements from social media companies, including service updates, launches, partnerships, usage data, mergers and acquisitions, and regulation.

Appendix

Further reading

Social Media Tracker: 3Q15, TE0003-000881 (October 2015)

“Facebook, Microsoft, and Google tackle connectivity, play harder on telcos’ turf,” TE0009-001465 (September 2015)

“Facebook’s Internet.org initiative could clash with net neutrality rules,” TE0007-000935 (August 2015)

“Twitter’s new video product needs to support a wider monetization strategy,” ME0002-000560 (February 2015)

Author

Pamela Clark-Dickson, Principal Analyst, Consumer Services

pamela.clark-dickson@ovum.com

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