Competitors of Facebook (Competitor analysis of Facebook)
This article aims to explore the main competitors of Facebook in the UK, the USA, and beyond. Facebook is a California-based online social media and social networking service company. It is one of the top five technology companies in the world. It has offices in 70 cities worldwide (Facebook, 2020).
Who are Facebook’s main competitors?
In order to identify the main competitors of Facebook, this article looks into Facebook from two perspectives i.e. social media, and online advertising.
Competitors of Facebook in the social media industry
As a social networking site, Facebook has a number of competitors in the UK e.g. Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, Tumblr, Reddit, LinkedIn, and Vkontakte. It is the market leader with 37.27% market share in terms of share of site visits (Statista, 2020). These companies along with WhatsApp are also the main competitors of Facebook in the USA, India, and many other countries.
However, Facebook’s position in Russia is weak where the market leader is YouTube. It is worth noting that both Instagram and WhatsApp are owned by Facebook. Indeed, many firms and analysts have accused Facebook for stifling any meaningful competition online with their crush or kill tactics (Cahill, 2019). They often present Facebook’s takeover of WhatsApp and Instagram as evidence to support their views.
Apart from some countries such as China, North Korea, and Iran where Facebook’s services are either restricted or banned, Facebook is now almost synonymous to social media around the world. As of January 2020, it has more than 2.50 billion monthly active users. It is so dominant in social media industry that its boss Mark Zuckerberg struggled to name a single competitor in his testimony before a joint session between the Senate Judiciary and Commerce committees in the USA in 2018.
Competitors of Facebook in the online advertising industry
In 2019, worldwide digital ad spending reached to around $333.25 billion. It is expected to reach $517.51 billion by 2023 (Enberg, 2019). Based on these figures, it can be easily understood how big the online advertising industry is and going to be in the future. In this industry, there are only few names that are competing on the global stage and dominating the show. In fact, Google and Facebook have been known for quite long as the digital duopoly for their stronghold over advertising customers.
However, things have changed quite fast in the last few years. Facebook now not only competes with Google, but also is challenged by other competitors such as Amazon and Snap. Likewise, many ad networks are also doing very well which may be a cause of concern for Facebook in the long-term.
From the analysis above, it is clear that some of the biggest Facebook’s competitors in social media industry are Facebook’s own services. Therefore, they are not Facebook’s competitors in broader sense. However, in digital advertising, it is in a neck and neck competition with Google.
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Last update: 14 March 2020
Cahill, H. (2019) Top British firms hit out at Google and Facebook for stifling competition online with crush or kill tactics, available at: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7464871/Top-British-firms-hit-Google-Facebook-stifling-competition-online.html (accessed 10 March 2020)
Enberg, J. (2019) Global Digital Ad Spending 2019, available at: https://www.emarketer.com/content/global-digital-ad-spending-2019 (accessed 15 February 2020)
Facebook (2020) Who we are, available at: https://about.fb.com/company-info/ (accessed 12 March 2020)
Statista (2020) Leading social networks by share of website visits* in the United Kingdom (UK) as of January 2020, available at: https://www.statista.com/statistics/280295/market-share-held-by-the-leading-social-networks-in-the-united-kingdom-uk/ (10 March 2020)
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Author: Jo David
Jo David has years of experience both in the UK and abroad. He writes regularly online on a variety of topics. He has a keen interest in business, hospitality and tourism management.