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A Stunning Visual Map of the Social Media Universe

Here is the social media ecosystem in one map.
Visual Capitalist creates and curates enriched visual content focused on emerging trends in business and investing. Founded in 2011 in Vancouver, the team at Visual Capitalist believes that art, data, and storytelling can be combined in a manner that makes complex issues and processes more digestible. Covering high-growth opportunities and industries such as technology, mining, and energy, Visual Capitalist reaches millions of investors each year. Visual Capitalist’s infographics have been featured in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Zero Hedge, Maclean’s, Gizmodo, The Vancouver Sun, and Business Insider.
Visual Capitalist creates and curates enriched visual content focused on emerging trends in business and investing. Founded in 2011 in Vancouver, the team at Visual Capitalist believes that art, data, and storytelling can be combined in a manner that makes complex issues and processes more digestible. Covering high-growth opportunities and industries such as technology, mining, and energy, Visual Capitalist reaches millions of investors each year. Visual Capitalist’s infographics have been featured in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Zero Hedge, Maclean’s, Gizmodo, The Vancouver Sun, and Business Insider.

A Stunning Visual Map of the Social Media Universe

Make sure to view the full-size version of the graphic for the best experience.

It’s hard to believe that social media has emerged as such an expansive ecosystem in just the last 10 years.

The incredible growth of this social media universe can be largely attributed to the success of Facebook, which has recently hit two billion active users globally. But, of course, there are many other platforms that have helped to build the foundation as well – names like YouTube, Messenger, WhatsApp, LinkedIn, Reddit, Twitter, Snapchat, and Instagram all create a powerful base for new apps and add-ons to plug into.

As of today, entrepreneurs have been able to use this foundation to build out new branches to the social media universe that are both exciting and diverse. The apps in these niches help to facilitate workplace collaboration, live events, dating, networking, user reviews, location-based marketing, livestreaming, expert Q&As, and many other functions – and the ecosystem continues to expand and multiply by the day.

What’s Changed in Social Media?

The version of the graphic posted here today is actually the fifth rendition since the concept was first introduced in 2008.

For a trip down memory lane, here’s a copy of the version released in August 2008 as well as a link to the full-size 2008 graphic as well:

Aside from the ugly, old logos, this graphic is an interesting blast from the past. It helps us see the evolution of social media, while reminding us that new additions from the ecosystem can come into their own as huge successes.

As an example, knowing what we know today, it is almost comical that the 2008 version lists LinkedIn as a “Niche Network”. Of course, at the time, it would be hard to see that LinkedIn would eventually boast a userbase of 500 million professionals and be sold to Microsoft for $26.2 billion as the company’s biggest acquisition of all-time.

There’s also some nostalgic mentions on the list, as well: Ask.com is the remnants of the glorious Ask Jeeves search engine founded in 1996, and hi5 was a social network that was the world’s second-biggest in 2007 (after MySpace).