Wednesday, February 21, 2018

The Power of Social Media

The Power of Social Media
Calista Bulacan

Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook are all phone applications that are the social media powerhouses in the United States. With almost 81% of the nation having at least one form of social media and 98% being connected to wifi, these applications are more accessible than ever. What started as a way to connect people, now has transitioned into an aggravating game for users between social media platforms and advertisers. Recently, ads have started to take on a greater role in all of the big name apps. There are now advertisements between stories on snapchat, advertisements that are disguised as posts on instagram and paid marketing on Youtube and Twitter. The advertisements are a smart way to make money for companies, but can become a hindrance on the enjoyment of these platforms by the general public.

When scrolling through Snapchat stories, the user generally is not looking for anything other than becoming informed on what friends are up to. However, when a movie advertisement pops up, it can form one of two reactions. Either the user will become interested in the said advertisement and then in return, the movie will receive a larger profit when it is released or the user will simply click past and forget it ever even was on the screen. Ignoring the latter of the two reactions, advertising on social media platforms is actually a smart move. With over 600 million Instagram users, billions of Youtubers and 300 million Snapchat users, the companies can reach a good population of people. Even if only a small percentage of users actually become interested in the advertised product, that still is a profit they otherwise would not of been able to earn.

From 2014 to 2017, it is estimated that the advertising revenue on social media platforms has increased by 23.1 billion dollars. This positive relationship between the apps and the advertisers may actually keep some apps able to continue to cater to their many users. The more users that start using an app, the higher the demand is for applications to continue updating and improving. The advertisers must pay to have their products featured on the application which can help fund the cost of keeping the company from sinking as well as help make an overall profit. This advertising then will bring the possibility of new consumers and, in turn, help make the business make a profit as well. This is a mutually beneficial relationship, that really only can be a negative for the consumers themselves as a third party.

This benefit, though, prompts companies to make internet even more accessible around the world. Facebook’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, is trying to make internet more accessible in parts of the world where internet connectivity rates are relatively low. In fact, only about 2.8 billion people out of 7.2 billion people in the world have internet access. He plans to implement balloons and drones that will bring free or extremely cheap wifi to the less technically advanced countries. This would help people who never had the option to be online and also encourage technological innovation. On top of this, however, advertisements would be able to become even more widespread than they currently are.

I agree that advertisements are annoying when I am just trying to catch up on what my friends are doing. Yet, those couple seconds of my time used to watch that ad are indirectly helping people around the world gain internet access and have a better quality of life.

Works Cited
Evans, Chris. “98 Percent of Americans Are Connected to High-Speed Wireless Internet.” National Archives and Records Administration, National Archives and Records Administration, 25 Mar. 2015,

Silva, Joao Fernandes. “The Economics of Social Media.” The Market Mogul, 23 Apr. 2017,

“U.S. Population with a Social Media Profile 2017.” Statista, 2018,

Video link to “Social Media Advertising” on Youtube:


  1. I agree that advertisements are annoying but they are a good way to help people around the world. Most of the time when I get an ad on Snapchat, I get annoyed and click on my screen to go past it but I never thought about how ads can help others connect to the media. They are a great way to spread the word and boost the funding of companies that these ads are running through which in turn can help others around the world who have less access to these platforms. It changes my perspective on all of the ads and how they are for the better.

  2. I agree that having advertisements on user’s social media feeds and apps is a great way to both make money and promote different things. Additionally, I agree that using social media apps to advertise allows companies to reach a very large portion of the population as so many people use them. The idea about the drones and the balloons that would provide internet access to places where it is currently unavailable is very intriguing. But it also made me wonder would these balloons or drones create any sort of environmental pollution or disturbance in these remote places? Would some of these places even want internet access being that the have been without internet for so long? Could sending these balloons and drones be seen as a threat or influence by other countries?

  3. This blog post was easy to relate to because I often get annoyed of advertisement on snap chat but I like to watch the news that pops up. It is weird to think that people enjoy these advertisements and that they are helping companies out. I think this blog post was put together very well even though it was lengthy.

  4. I use all these social media platforms on the daily and can totally relate to the feeling of being super annoyed when I see these advertisements, but if I'm being honest there have been a few adds that I look deeper into and end up being happy that I saw it. On instagram they track your intrests by what kind of photos you like so usually the adds are going to be somewhat interesting to you and I think that's really a smart way of advertising and I think other social media platforms should use that technique even though it is a little creepy, but it works.

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  6. Advertisements can be annoying for people using the apps, and whenever I see one I usually just scroll or click past, but these ads allow the companies to reach a wide audience as many people use social media daily. It can bring a lot of recognition to a company which can lead to more, such as the business making more money. However, I would agree with the other comments that some of the ads are interesting, especially on Instagram since they are based on pictures you like.


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