Social networks have gotten a bad rap recently. The reason could be attributed to the performance of Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB)‘s stock, which has left many questioning the long-term viability of social networks as a business. And just because Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) has stumbled doesn’t mean that other businesses have not struggled to find a way to make social components fit with their tech strategy.
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Social Networking
Not long ago, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) ame up with a new concept to try to make their music offerings more social. Today, nobody talks much about the company’s failed Ping add-on to iTunes. That’s because it was generally considered a spectacular flop, quietly removed from iTunes at the end of 2012.
The moral of the story: you can make mistakes if your main business is still really successful, as is the case with Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and its hardware. Facebook doesn’t have the luxury of Apple’s breathing room. Unlike Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), Apple reports massive revenue numbers every quarter; in the most recent it posted a $9.5 billion profit on $43.6 in revenue.
Can Social Media Save Businesses?
If you’re an old-line company, however, social networking may seem like some sort of salvation from the struggles of new media. It could be the halo effect needed to resurrect businesses! News Corp (NASDAQ:NWS). has thought this in the past – that didn’t work out too well with MySpace, the company that News Corp (NASDAQ:NWS) purchased for $580 million seven years ago, then unloaded for $35 million in 2011.
But rumors are that News Corp might go back at it, trying to integrate social media into the publishing business. News Corp is splitting itself into two separate businesses — entertainment and publishing — perhaps because people don’t find publishing entertaining anymore. Stay away from News Corp (NASDAQ:NWS) until they figure this all out.
Google is probably the best example of a company adopting social media elements to its business without causing too much consternation. But with the wonderful financial results that they keep reporting quarter, investors and analysts have little to complain about. Most recently, they reported a 31% year over year increase in revenue.
What’s also notable is that Google is adverse to breaking out numbers outside of advertising – a smart move seeing as how it’s hard to see services like Google+ actually putting cash into the bottom line. But the numbers are showing that Google+ is a solid #2 to Facebook, which is a good place for them to be. Google is a great investment, and the fact that they aren’t flat-out falling on their faces in social networking is more than enough when compared to News Corp.
So Who Has the Blockbuster Stock?
Now, at this point you might think that the prospects for investing in social networking are quite dismal. But there is one company out there that seems to have figured it out. What’s even more impressive is how they have been able to do it under the radar – as far as technology stocks go they fly pretty low. But their growth potential is enormously immense. Take a look at this chart of the most trafficked websites globally.