As my day usually revolves around social media, I thought it fitting to discuss different platform owners and the repercussions their ownership has over the media I produce and consume. I will be focusing on YouTube and Google, Instagram and Facebook, and Twitter in this post but will leave some extra links below if anyone wants to read further into other platforms.
Due to Google buying YouTube in 2006, in order to actively connect with the YouTube community, I would have to create a Google+ account. Without this account, I wouldn’t be able to subscribe, like or comment on any videos.The current CEO of YouTube is Susan Wojcicki, however because Google is the parent company, Sundar Pinchai (Google CEO) has an indirect effect of the materials provided to the public. Larry Page and Sergey Brin were the original founders of Google in 1996. Google has a parent company known as Alphabet Inc. Ironically, the CEO of Alphabet Inc. is Larry Page. This shows that Wojcicki may be the CEO of YouTube but her decisions and final product can be heavily swayed by parent companies. Pinchai and Page have a very important role in running YouTube. YouTube is also able to take my search data from Google and use it to adjust the advertising and recommendations I see, thus changing my experience.
Instagram provides an interesting debate on this topic. The CEO Kevin Systrom was an original founder of the site alongside Mike Krieger in 2010. People can be easily lead astray with Instagram, thinking that Systrom is the main owner of the social media platform but in actual fact, Facebook became the parenting company at a price of $1 billion U.S. dollars in 2012. If I’m scrolling through my Instagram feed, I will often see ‘promoted’ posts that are selling me something related to Facebook or something I’ve searched on Facebook recently.
Finally the last social media platform I will be discussing is Twitter. This social media platform was founded in 2006 by Jack Dorsey (current CEO), Noah Glass, Biz Stone, and Evan Williams. Twitter is hosting a lot of advertising for big corporations. Steve Ballmer is one of the largest shareholders of Twitter, with 5% (as at October 2015). He has recently stepped down as CEO of Microsoft however, still holds the largest share in the company at 4% (as at April 2016). Ballmer is an example of the biased marketing and promoted tweets that I could be shown during my time on the site.
Overall, the owners of corporations are not always the ones in charge and it’s important to take into account CEOs, founders and major stakeholders when looking at how the media I’m consuming might be affected.
Cunningham, Andrew 2015, Google is now a part of ‘Alphabet’, Sundar Pinchai steps up as CEO, Conde Nast, viewed 31 March 2016, http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2015/08/google-is-now-part-of-alphabet-sundar-pichai-steps-up-as-ceo/
Google CEO Sundar Pinchai reciever $199 milion stock from Alphabet Inc, The Economic Times, viewed 31 March 2016, http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2016-02-09/news/70479899_1_google-co-founder-larry-page-equity-executives
One Million Registered Twitter Apps 2011, Twitter, viewed 1 April 2016, https://blog.twitter.com/2011/one-million-registered-twitter-apps
Our History in Death 2016, Google, viewed 1 April 2016, http://www.google.com.au/about/company/history/#2004
Page, Larry 2016, Alphabet, Alphabet, viewed 1 April 2016, https://abc.xyz/
Steve Ballmer 2016, Forbes, viewed 1 April 2016, http://www.forbes.com/profile/steve-ballmer/
Steve Chen – Biography 2016, Biography.com, viewed 31 March 2016, http://www.biography.com/people/steve-chen-201191