Wednesday, April 11, 2012

What Is Social Data Worth?

What is the value of a tweet? How much does Yelp value a review? As a participant in the social media economy, how much value does your participation create for companies like Facebook and LinkedIn?

These questions came to mind recently as we had a deep discussion at Backupify about the value of data in the cloud. Sometimes people ask me why they should backup their cloud data. The answer that I give comes from asking thousands of Backupify customers why they do it – because the data is valuable, and it is always important to protect valuable assets.

Quantifying the value of data to a business is relatively easy. For customers who use our Backup for Google Apps or Backup for Salesforce products to protect their corporate data, it boils down to three basic concerns:

  • How difficult it would be to recreate that data
  • How much revenue would be lost if the data was lost
  • How much productivity would be lost if important data could not be accessed

The value of social data (for both consumers and businesses) is a little bit harder to quantify. We decided to take a shot at it by building off some publicly available information to figure out what social data, which social media companies, and what social media actions are the most valuable. The results are in posted in the Backupify Social Data Value Infographic below.

We plotted the data in two different ways. The first is by average per-user value, which of course has Facebook as king of the hill. The second plot shows how many users a service would require to reach a $10 billion valuation. As you can see, most of the companies are unlikely to ever get that big.

So take a look, and let us know what you think. Are Yelp reviews really worth more than tweets? Who should we have put on the graph that didn’t make it? Which pieces of social media are over or under valued? Leave a comment, write a post, or just tweet @backupify with your thoughts.

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