Facebook is an example of an affinity portal. One characteristic of affinity portals is that they the user audiences have a universal attraction that acts as a reason for them to be connected to the portal. For Facebook, the common attraction is friendship among the users (Aithal, 2016). Through this affinity portal, large numbers of people can connect to share their views and engage in talks. Other services offered by affinity portals include online spaces for interactions and discussion of specialized topics such as politics, entertainment, and sharing photos. Facebook also provides users with these services to increase its resources. Recently, the company was valued at $8.6 billion. The massive resources of Facebook are generated from its growth strategy. Facebook tries to appeal to new users so that it has a growing Monthly Active Users.
Revenue Model used by Facebook
The company employs an almost Advertising Only Business Revenue Model. Since 2008, digital marketing has become a global trend for all businesses across all sectors. Facebook's digital marketing abilities have contributed over 90 percent of the company's revenue for the last ten consecutive years. Its non-advertising taxes, on the other hand, have continually reduced in percentage. In 2012, the quarterly non-advertising revenues were $174 million down from $185 million for the same period in 2011. The company has developed its advertising features including Facebook Apps and Games, Platform development and maintenance, and Micro-advertisers. Due to its simplicity of use and a massive number of users, the company has attracted businesses all over the world to advertise on their platform.
Target Audience for Facebook
Most companies, when developing their products or services to provide in the market, they usually have a target audience that can be identified according to age, gender, education, or location. For Facebook, it is much different than that. Instead of basing their target audience on such characteristics, the company targets mobile phone users regardless of their age, education, gender, or location (Krombholz, Merkl, & Weippl, 2012). It is for this reason that Facebook is used by people from all walks of life and corners of the world. Consequently, advertisers of all kinds of goods and services can advertise utilizing this affinity portal.
Possible Improvements to Facebook.
There only two possible improvements I could think of for Facebook. First, their video calling feature is way behind the market standard. Hence, it needs a complete change. Secondly, it should improve news feed filtering based on a user's topics of interest.
Focused-content portals are the type of websites that offer services or information that is related to a specific subject. All the discussions in the platforms always revolve around that subject. A perfect example of a focused-content portal is WebMD. WebMD is an online portal that provides medical related information including latest medical news, healthy living tips, family and pregnancy health, and drugs. All the discussions on WebMD are related to the different fields of medicine from physical health to mental health, surgeries, therapies and all the diseases. WebMD connects people from these fields to interact, share ideas, and discuss all matters medicine. The portal provides a large pool of medicinal content, research, and e-mail services.
Business Revenue Model used by WebMD
WebMD is a free-to-use website just like Facebook. All the consumers of health information access the information for free. However, to make money, WebMD uses two revenue models namely revenue model, corporate sponsorship, and affiliated websites. Of the models is Advertising accounting for over 75 percent of the company's revenues. In 2015, the traffic to the site increased by double digits to record the highest advertising revenue since it was launched. That year, WebMD made $9.4 million in the first quarter, projecting its annual income to S142 million (Centola, & van de Rijt, 2015). Corporate Sponsorships also generates significant amounts of revenue for the company. The content sponsored by the health-related businesses is easy to identify because it bears the label "From Our Sponsors."
Target Audience of WebMD
The portal targets all the professionals in the field of medicine including pharmaceutical companies, hospitals, private practices, and medical research centers. These groups of users post the medical content on the portal (Imran et al. 2015). Additionally, WebMD targets users of medical information such as ordinary citizens who want to know about certain medical conditions, symptoms, and even medication for the same. The users of this information access it for free.
Possible Improvements for WebMD
One of the problems that an ordinary person gets when using WebMD platform is navigation. The website is very complicated to use. There are no specific sections for different fields of medicine. Having subsections will ease its navigability. Secondly, most people find the information from the sponsors biased to promote their products. Limiting the amount of content from sponsors will be a huge improvement.
Aithal, P. S. (2016). A Review of various E-business and M-business models & Research Opportunities.
Centola, D., & van de Rijt, A. (2015). Choosing your network: Social preferences in an online health community. Social science & medicine, 125, 19-31.
Imran, M., Castillo, C., Diaz, F., & Vieweg, S. (2015). Processing social media messages in mass emergency: A survey. ACM Computing Surveys (CSUR), 47(4), 67.
Krombholz, K., Merkl, D., & Weippl, E. (2012). Fake identities in social media: A case study on the sustainability of the Facebook business model. Journal of Service Science Research, 4(2), 175-212.
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