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Who won (and lost) Social Media in 2018

2018 was a trying year for the major social networks, hit by all the big problems that great scale brings — from data leaks to punishing algorithmic shifts, to inappropriate content. Here’s how they did.

Facebook’s grade for the year: D
Facebook has had a rough few years, but Facebook’s 2018 is a lesson in the importance of public opinion in the social space. As trust in the platform plummets, we start to see the effects everywhere. However, Facebook is still the largest social media company in the world by market cap. In Q3 2018, it saw its number of monthly active users rise 10% to 2.27 billion.

YouTube’s grade for the year: C-
YouTube had a tough year grappling with its responsibility for the content on the platform. YouTube struggled to keep everyone happy in 2018. Advertisers, users, and creators all have voiced their frustration with the video platform. YouTube has been making a lot of efforts to fix issues that have plagued the platform in 2018. Perhaps 2019 will be the year they solve it.

Snapchat’s grade for the year: B-
Snapchat’s 2018 was one of transformation. Slowly shifting focus to advertisers over users. Whether you love it or hate it Snapchat is a different beast today than when it first launched. It has a reputation as a source of innovation often copied by the other networks, so we look forward to seeing what they come up within 2019.

Instagram’s grade for the year: B+
Instagram’s 2018 was business as usual, stumbling only with IGTV but very importantly emerging unscathed by Facebook’s numerous issues. Who knows what 2019 holds for Instagram, after the departure of both of its founders in September of this year.

Honorable mention to Fortnite. Fornite has been the source of a lot of the content on the platforms above. Since its launch, the game had amassed 125 million active players by June and made $1.2 billion. Here a few highlights from Fortnite’s stellar year.

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