In-Depth Technical Brief


Facebook is the most used and commonly interacted-with social media outlet in the world. Many attribute this to how easy it is to use and navigate through the site. Many people overlook the software that goes into the site and take the finshed product for granted. Ever wonder what Facebook actually runs on? Facebook uses a variety of services, tools, and programming languages to make up its core infrastructure. At the front end, their servers run a LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP) stack with Memcache.Linux & Apache: Linux is a Unix-like computer operating system kernel. It's open source, very customizable, and good for security. Facebook runs the Linux operating system on Apache HTTP Servers, and is also the most popular free open source web server in use. MySQL: For the database, Facebook utilizes MySQL because of its speed and reliability. MySQL is used primarily as a key-value store as data is randomly distributed amongst a large set of logical instances. These logical instances are spread out across physical nodes and load balancing is done at the physical node level. Facebook has developed a custom partitioning scheme in which a global ID is assigned to all data. They also have a custom archiving scheme that is absed on how frequent and recent data is on a per-user basis. PHP:Facbook uses PHP because it is a good web programming language with extensive support and an active developer community and it is good for rapid iteration. PHP is dynamically typed/interpreted scripting language.Memcache:Memcache is a memory caching system that is used to speed up dynamic database-driven websitesby caching data and objects in RAM to reduce reading time. All these softwares combine to make the quick-and-easy Facebook that is so well respected and known.

Facebook's Market Share

Facebook has, and will continue to completely dominate the marketshare of social media outlets. For the first time since 2011, Facebook surpassed the 60 percent mark and powered 61 percent of all social logins on Gigya's network. Additionally, Facebook is taking market share away from Google, whose market share dropepd from 24 percent to 22 percent in just 3 months. On mobile, Facebook's dominance is even more profound - where it owns an astounding 77 percent of all social logins, up from 62 percent in the previous quarter. Again, these gains coming at the expense of Google, who dropped from 28 percent to a mere 16 percent. It is important to notice how many other social media outlets there are, and Facebook continues to set the tone as far as market share is concerned, and second place is not very close.


Twitter is an online news and social networking service where users post and interact with message and "tweets" that cannot exceed 140 characters. Users must be registered in order to tweet or retweet, however, unregistered users are still capable of viewing the tweets of others. The headquarters are located in San Fransisco and they just celebrated their 11th anniversary, as they were founded in 2006.Implementation: Twitter relies heavily on open-source software - and uses the Ruby on Rails framework, deployed on a performance enhanced Ruby Enterprise Edition implementation of Ruby. Early on, tweets were stored in MySQL databases. In 2013, Twitter switched from their Ruby on Rails search stack to a Java server they call Blender.Interface: In 2009, Twitter adjusted its web interface, adding a search bar and sidebar of trending topics - which are the most discussed topics on Twitter at the time. In 2012, Twitter exapanded its language audience to include Arabic, Farsi, Hebrew and Urdu.Privacy and Security: Twitter profiles can be seen by any user, registered or not. However, Twitter does offer private accounts that allow the user to determine who can and cannot see their content. The combination of all these aspects of Twitter is what makes it one of the most prominent outlets there is.

Twitter's Market Share

Although Twitter's market share pales in comparison to Facebook, they still hold a solid stake of the market share. Twitter has a 22 percent penetration rate (Percent who have accessed the outlet), which is normally a respectable number but does not compare to Facebook's amazing 63 percent. Additionally, Twitter ranks second, only behind Facebook, in average days accessed a month by users at 11 days. Facebook is first with 15. A study was done to see what percentage of suers access social media outlets daily, weekly, or less often and Twitter's results are impressive. 42 percent of users use the app daily, 24 percent use the app weekly, and 33 percent access the app less often. For an outlet that has only accessed 22 percent of the entire world, those numbers are nothing to scoff at.

How Social Media Outlets Make Money

Social media and networking is a common activity for the majority of the worlds population. So when the majority of the world is using an outlet, it presents ample opportunity for both the outlets themselves and other businesses to make more money. Venture Capitalism:Most, if not all aocial netowking outlets start with funding from venture capitalists, where investors take risks on companies in the early stages of their existence in hopes that they become profitable down the road. Twitter and Facebook have each raised several million dollars through venture capitalism. Advertising and E-Commerce: Twitter, Facebook, and other large media outlets are paid to allow other companies to adverstise their good/service on their platform. Often times, an ad might be "featured" which means it will be available for every user to see, which allows businesses to reach audiences they might not be able to reach otherwise.


In conclusion, there are countless social media outlets that compete to take business/users away from each other. However, only few have been deemed successful. Facebook leads the pack with the most active users by far. Other media outlets such as Twitter, Instagram or LinkedIn have also made names for themselves by establishing a sturdy ground and building on that foundation. Social media outlets also take advanatge of their wide audience by utlizing other businesses marketing and advertising strategies to make themselves even more money and publicity. Social media is an imperative way to market businesses in today's age, and it will only become more prominent in the future.


  1. Hope, C. (2017, April 26). When was the first computer invented? Retrieved May 11, 2017, from
  2. Staff, D. T. (2016, May 12). The history of social networking. Retrieved May 11, 2017, from
  3. News, C. (2014, February 04). Then and now: a history of social networking sites. Retrieved May 11, 2017, from
  4. Long, M., Price, D., & Campbell, S. (2010, February 27). How Does Facebook Work? The Nuts and Bolts [Technology Explained]. Retrieved May 11, 2017, from
  5. Lardinois, F. (2015, January 27). Facebook Continues To Dominate Social Logins, Expands Lead To 61% Market Share. Retrieved May 11, 2017, from
  6. Price, D., & Campbell, S. (2010, April 30). How Do Social Networks Make Money. Retrieved May 11, 2017, from