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Holmes said the key to unlocking value for social media companies is successful advertising models. The trick for social media companies looking to profit as ad platforms is to find the best way to insert advertising into the user's experience without impacting the user in a negative way. It's clear that advertising plays a huge role in a social media company's value - and the success of social media stocks. On a social media site like Facebook, which has real-time update feeds, in-stream ads can be inserted into a streaming feed. By far the largest social network, Facebook saw over $1 billion in ad revenue at the beginning of 2013, and it's getting better at integrating ads into its News Feed. The ad model is helping Facebook monetize its massive 1.15 billion users who increasingly access the site via mobile devices.
Watching Facebook's advertising Cinderella story shows us a great deal about how advertising makes money for social media companies. When compared to other social media sites, Facebook blows away the competition - as shown in this chart by Adweek.
Disclaimer: Nothing published by Money Morning should be considered personalized investment advice. Just about every social media site is free to join and many offer all of their features to users at no charge.
A recent study of how social media sites monetize has found that 77% of social media websites make money through advertising revenue. Though most social media sites focus on selling advertising space, it is common for many of the leading social media sites to combine ads with another revenue stream.

PR and marketing site Simply Zesty offers the following analysis,“Foursquare and Twitter generate revenue solely from ads, yet Vimeo and Soundcloud use both ads and subscription services.
Perhaps the best known revenue model for social media sites is Facebook’s advertising program. This revenue stream is far more difficult to successfully manage, and there’s a reason why Facebook is the only major social media platform in this survey giving it a shot.
Despite Pinterest’s termination of Skimlinks, affiliate links promise to show up again on social media sites in the near future because they provide a non-invasive revenue model that, if coded properly, doesn’t have to impact the SEO of a website. Another popular income model among the top social networking sites such as Flickr, LinkedIn, and YouTube is a combination of premium service and advertising.
Given the enormous amount of server space required to manage social networking sites, it’s reasonable for users to expect that “free” social sites will need to find a sustainable long-term revenue model beyond venture capital. I remember back in the old days when the only social media sites anyone ever kept up with was Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Part of Holmes' job is to utilize web advertising via social media platforms to best market Money Morning. The same way Google made its money is the same way Twitter and Facebook will make their money," Holmes explained. In a 2013 Nielsen report, data showed that 89% of advertisers use free social media advertising, and 75% use paid social media advertising. It lost more than half of its value within six months of listing and was priced at 107 times trailing 12-month earnings, making it pricier than 99% of all companies in the S&P 500 at the time. Although our employees may answer your general customer service questions, they are not licensed under securities laws to address your particular investment situation.

Any and all information provided within the web-site, is for general information purposes only and Market Oracle Ltd do not warrant the accuracy, timeliness or suitability of any information provided on this site. As these social networking platforms grow their user communities, it’s reasonable to wonder how they plan to make their money, especially if that involves leveraging user-information to make sales. In other words, social media sites are making money for sure, but at this point the revenue model for businesses hasn’t changed all that much from the days of print ads. Though the overall number of social media sites that use multiple revenue streams remains low at 7% according to this survey, the graph analyzing the top social networking sites reveals that multiple revenue sources may be ideal and hopefully less invasive for users.
Marketing Land reported on an interview with Ben Silbermann, the CEO of Pinterest, who said that Pinterest stopped using Skimlinks since it didn’t make enough money from the affiliate sales.
Whether that means sites sell ad space based on the information you’ve entered into your profile or charge you for premium features, social media sites have a valuable commodity that marketers crave: attention. The report also highlighted that 64% of advertisers expect to increase their paid social media advertising budgets over the course of 2013. Any investments recommended by Money Morning should be made only after consulting with your investment advisor and only after reviewing the prospectus or financial statements of the company.
We recommend that independent professional advice is obtained before you make any investment or trading decisions.
It’s not uncommon for a social site to wait a while before even attempting to monetize, and obviously that is a good idea so they can focus on the user experience.

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