Infographic: A Stunning Visual Map of the Social Media Universe
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A Visual Map of the Social Media Universe

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A Stunning Visual Map of the Social Media Universe

A Stunning Visual Map of the Social Media Universe

Today’s infographic comes from Brian Solis and JESS3, and it visualizes the massive social media universe of 2017. 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:

Conversation Prism from 2008

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).

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Ranked: America’s 20 Biggest Tech Layoffs Since 2020

How bad are the current layoffs in the tech sector? This visual reveals the 20 biggest tech layoffs since the start of the pandemic.

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layoffs in tech

Ranked: America’s 20 Biggest Tech Layoffs This Decade

The events of the last few years could not have been predicted by anyone. From a global pandemic and remote work as the standard, to a subsequent hiring craze, rising inflation, and now, mass layoffs.

Alphabet, Google’s parent company, essentially laid off the equivalent of a small town just weeks ago, letting go of 12,000 people—the biggest layoffs the company has ever seen in its history. Additionally, Amazon and Microsoft have also laid off 10,000 workers each in the last few months, not to mention Meta’s 11,000.

This visual puts the current layoffs in the tech industry in context and ranks the 20 biggest tech layoffs of the 2020s using data from the tracker, Layoffs.fyi.

The Top 20 Layoffs of the 2020s

Since 2020, layoffs in the tech industry have been significant, accelerating in 2022 in particular. Here’s a look at the companies that laid off the most people over the last three years.

RankCompany# Laid Off% of WorkforceAs of
#1Google12,0006%Jan 2023
#2Meta11,00013%Nov 2021
#3Amazon10,0003%Nov 2021
#4Microsoft10,0005%Jan 2023
#5Salesforce8,00010%Jan 2023
#6Amazon8,0002%Jan 2023
#7Uber6,70024%May 2020
#8Cisco4,1005%Nov 2021
#9IBM3,9002%Jan 2023
#10Twitter3,70050%Nov 2021
#11Better.com3,00033%Mar 2022
#12Groupon2,80044%Apr 2020
#13Peloton2,80020%Feb 2022
#14Carvana2,50012%May 2022
#15Katerra2,434100%Jun 2021
#16Zillow2,00025%Nov 2021
#17PayPal2,0007%Jan 2023
#18Airbnb1,90025%May 2020
#19Instacart1,877--Jan 2021
#20Wayfair1,75010%Jan 2023

Layoffs were high in 2020 thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, halting the global economy and forcing staff reductions worldwide. After that, things were steady until the economic uncertainty of last year, which ultimately led to large-scale layoffs in tech—with many of the biggest cuts happening in the past three months.

The Cause of Layoffs

Most workforce slashings are being blamed on the impending recession. Companies are claiming they are forced to cut down the excess of the hiring boom that followed the pandemic.

Additionally, during this hiring craze competition was fierce, resulting in higher salaries for workers, which is now translating in an increased need to trim the fat thanks to the current economic conditions.

layoffs in the tech sector

Of course, the factors leading up to these recent layoffs are more nuanced than simple over-hiring plus recession narrative. In truth, there appears to be a culture shift occurring at many of America’s tech companies. As Rani Molla and Shirin Ghaffary from Recode have astutely pointed out, tech giants really want you to know they’re behaving like scrappy startups again.

Twitter’s highly publicized headcount reduction in late 2022 occurred for reasons beyond just macroeconomic factors. Elon Musk’s goal of doing more with a smaller team seemed to resonate with other founders and executives in Silicon Valley, providing an opening for others in tech space to cut down on labor costs as well. In just one example, Mark Zuckerberg hailed 2023 as the “year of efficiency” for Meta.

Meanwhile, over at Google, 12,000 jobs were put on the chopping block as the company repositions itself to win the AI race. In the words of Google’s own CEO:

“Over the past two years we’ve seen periods of dramatic growth. To match and fuel that growth, we hired for a different economic reality than the one we face today… We have a substantial opportunity in front of us with AI across our products and are prepared to approach it boldly and responsibly.”– Sundar Pichai

The Bigger Picture in the U.S. Job Market

Beyond the tech sector, job openings continue to rise. Recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) revealed a total of 11 million job openings across the U.S., an increase of almost 7% month-over-month. This means that for every unemployed worker in America right now there are 1.9 job openings available.

Additionally, hiring increased significantly in January, with employers adding 517,000 jobs. While the BLS did report a decrease in openings in information-based industries, openings are increasing rapidly especially in the food services, retail trade, and construction industries.

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