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Social Commerce: What Is It and Why Should It Concern You?

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Let me begin this with a cliché – The future of business is on the internet. We’re all out there shopping on Amazon and eBay for almost everything, and on thousand other eCommerce sites on the internet.

There are about 12 million – 24 million eCommerce sites across the entire globe. So yeah, pretty much everyone’s trying to get on the online selling trope. Tyler Durden might not be so happy to hear that (Watch Fight Club if you haven’t).

Anyway, you hear about eCommerce a lot. Everyone’s talking about Shopify, BigCommerce, and WooCommerce, but what you don’t get to hear a lot about is social commerce.

Now what is social commerce, you might ask?—Well, it’s the ability to purchase products from a third-party seller within the social media platform itself, and no, that’s not a brand new concept either.

In 2019, the retail social commerce sales in the USA were $19.42 Billion, and the top leaders in this space who are helping businesses like yours to be a part of social commerce are Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Oh and remember the Chinese app where the kids danced for like 15 seconds and got famous? That’s right—TikTok just recently partnered with Shopify and is soon going to go all-in on social selling.

You don’t need any statistics to understand why social commerce is going to work wonders since the compulsive human need to use social media and do shopping is well documented. Let’s look at what social media platforms you can use to sell your products.

Social Commerce Platforms to Capitalize On

Facebook

Facebook sales, Facebook social commerce, social commerce, ecommerce sales, facebook eCommerce, social selling, social shopping, social media site, purchase process,

Image source

Facebook’s social commerce ability has been around for quite a while. Initially, they were geared toward selling products, but now they’re even planning to help you sell your services as well.

The Facebook store comes with tools for promotion, sales, marketing, conversion, customer support, and so much more. If you’re a small or a medium-sized business, you can set up your store on Facebook for free.

Facebook has even partnered with third-party tools like Shopify, BigCommerce, WooCommerce, etc. Companies having their Facebook shop can even interact with their customers via the Facebook Messenger app. This will help you offer before and after-sales support to them.

Here’s what you can do with your Facebook social commerce store:-

  • Upload products and their details.
  • Manage and customize your product catalog.
  • Sell from your Page directly.
  • Manage your orders.
  • Run a Facebook ad to promote your products.
  • Get detailed insights.

Social commerce can make the purchase and sale process super simple and brings about a degree of familiarity between the buyer and the seller, something that Amazon or eBay can’t just because they aren’t social channels.

In the long run, you might want to find ways to reduce marketing costs since an average Facebook ad could cost you anywhere between $0.50 – $2.00 based on several parameters. However, you can always set a budget.

Instagram

It’s been revealed by Facebook that about 70% of online shoppers turn to Instagram for discovering products. No wonder Zuckerboii rolled out the Instagram shopping feature for people to make purchases within Instagram itself.

Instagram sales, Instagram stories, instagram social commerce, instagram sales, instagram trade, instagram buying and selling, instagram products,

As shown in the above image, there are 2 ways to make your product visible for purchase:-

  • You can simply tap on a picture and see the tags reveal themselves, showing you how many products you can buy that are displayed in that picture.
  • You can swipe on Instagram stories and you’ll occasionally come across a story that will ask you to swipe up to shop now.

The Instagram store feature is available in 70 countries, and is available to companies that:-

  • Sell physical goods.
  • Have an Instagram business account that’s connected to a Facebook page.
  • Comply with Instagram’s commerce policies and merchant agreement.

With Instagram launching a chargeable in-app checkout feature (to only a limited number of merchants at the moment), it’s clear that they’re gearing towards making social commerce.

Pinterest

pinterest sales, pinterest buy, pinterest products, buyable pins, pinterest shop

I’m assuming you don’t know how Pinterest works which is why I’ll give you a brief before I move ahead. It allows its users to post or “pin” pictures and videos that you see in your feed. These pins will create a virtual photo gallery called “board”.

Pinterest rolled out the option for buyable pins in 2015. There were only 30 million of those when it first came, but within 3 months, the number doubled to 60 million.

But you know what’s even crazier? The average order value on Pinterest is $50, which is the highest among all other social networks.

Pinterest is associated with various popular retailers like Wayfair, Nordstrom, Bloomingdales, etc. Another unique aspect of Pinterest is that only a small portion of the site’s content is original. The rest of its content is “repins”.

As an original content creator, this is a great opportunity for you, and since the entire platform is filled with visuals, I don’t need to tell you how important it is to invest in the pictures and videos of your product.

Why Does It Work?

Remember when back in the day, you used to go out with your friends and family to go shopping and decide what to buy? Well, shopping was inherently considered to be a social activity, and it resurfaced with social commerce.

eCommerce platforms are not only not social, but they add another step in the shopping process. If someone wants to buy something after looking at a photo of a product on Instagram, they don’t have to go on Amazon to look for it.

Here are some really subtle benefits that you have as a seller:-

  • Smart Decision Making – When there’s enough data for you to understand what the end-user needs while online shopping, you can make smarter inventory and product development choices. You can even ask your audience to vote on the products they’d like to purchase.
  • Virtual Word-of-Mouth – Since people don’t have to physically or orally propagate reviews of products and services while social shopping, it’s easier for you to increase the number of conversations taking place about your products and company.
  • Effective Virtual Marketing – When someone likes a product, they might want to talk about it on social media—and If you’re doing social commerce, you can increase the market for your products, reach new customers you might not have otherwise.
  • Better Research Possibilities – If you’ve done your research, you will have developed different archetypes of your target audience, which you can then use to improve product discovery & awareness, and personalize customer experience based on their preferences.
  • Generate Social Proof – If virtual word-of-mouth is in action on a social media site, then you’re inevitably going to start seeing a rise in sales. And when that happens, you can encourage peer recommendations and reviews that help you create social proof.

Wrapping Up With Some Facts

If you’re still reading reviews online before buying your products, welp, you’re all grown up and wise, but slower too. Why? Because 44% of GenZ has made purchases based on recommendations of influencers, as opposed to 26% of the general population doing the same.

With 74% of shoppers making their purchase decisions based on social media, it becomes a no-brainer for buyers by not having to go on eCommerce platforms to find the product and for sellers to sell where the customers are rather than trying to lure them to your site.

All in all, the influence of social commerce is growing by the day and 2021 is a year with amazing opportunity since post covid, the global social media usage has only surged. Hopefully, you’ll utilize all this to your advantage.



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Author: Devansh Khetrapal

Devansh is an avid content curator who loves writing about things that are mainly associated with Business and Technology. He writes about Web Development, Designing, Digital Marketing, even Machine Learning, and AI. He’s currently working with RnF Technologies. and has contributed thousands of write-ups for its clients. … View full profile ›

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PINTEREST

Social E-commerce Platform Market 2021 | Trends, Size, Growth Demand, Opportunities …

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Summary

LOS ANGELES, United States: QY Research offers an overarching research and analysis-based study on, “Global Social E-commerce Platform Market Report, History and Forecast 2016-2027, Breakdown Data by Companies, Key Regions, Types and Application“. Analysts have used primary and secondary research […]

 Social E-commerce Platform  Market Research Report

LOS ANGELES, United States: QY Research offers an overarching research and analysis-based study on, “Global Social E-commerce Platform Market Report, History and Forecast 2016-2027, Breakdown Data by Companies, Key Regions, Types and Application“. Analysts have used primary and secondary research methodologies to determine the path of the market. The data includes historic and forecast values for a well-rounded understanding.The researchers and analysts who have prepared the report used an advanced research methodology and authentic primary and secondary sources of market information and data. It is a phenomenal compilation of important studies that explore the competitive landscape, segmentation, geographical expansion, and revenue, production, and consumption growth of the global Social E-commerce Platform market. Players can use the accurate market facts and figures and statistical studies provided in the report to understand the current and future growth of the global Social E-commerce Platform market. The report offers an in-depth assessment of key market dynamics, the competitive landscape, segments, and regions in order to help readers to become better familiar with the global Social E-commerce Platform market.

This report includes assessment of various drivers, government policies, technological innovations, upcoming technologies, opportunities, market risks, restrains, market barriers, challenges, trends, competitive landscape, and segments which gives an exact picture of the growth of the global Social E-commerce Platform market.

Top Companies/Manufacturers:

Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, Snap, Linkedin, ByteDance, Baidu, Alibaba, Yunji Global, Xingin Information Technology, Mogu Inc, Shanghai Xunmeng Information Technology, Youpin, Pinduoduo, Gathered, Mushroom Street, Jingdong, Vipshop, Yunpincang, Fragrant, Test the water
Market Segment by Product Type: Purchase Rebate, Share Reflection, Content Shopping Guide
Market Segment by Application: 18-30 Years Old, 31-40 Years Old, Other

Competitive Landscape

Competitor analysis is one of the best sections of the report that compares the progress of leading players based on crucial parameters, including market share, new developments, global reach, local competition, price, and production. From the nature of competition to future changes in the vendor landscape, the report provides in-depth analysis of the competition in the global Social E-commerce Platform market.

Key questions answered in the report:

  • What is the growth potential of the Social E-commerce Platform market?
  • Which product segment will grab a lion’s share?
  • Which regional market will emerge as a frontrunner in the coming years?
  • Which application segment will grow at a robust rate?
  • What are the growth opportunities that may emerge in the Social E-commerce Platform industry in the years to come?
  • What are the key challenges that the global Social E-commerce Platform market may face in the future?
  • Which are the leading companies in the global Social E-commerce Platform market?
  • Which are the key trends positively impacting the market growth?
  • Which are the growth strategies considered by the players to sustain hold in the global Social E-commerce Platform market

TOC

1 Market Overview of Social E-commerce Platform

1.1 Social E-commerce Platform Market Overview

1.1.1 Social E-commerce Platform Product Scope

1.1.2 Social E-commerce Platform Market Status and Outlook

1.2 Global Social E-commerce Platform Market Size Overview by Region 2016 VS 2021VS 2027

1.3 Global Social E-commerce Platform Market Size by Region (2016-2027)

1.4 Global Social E-commerce Platform Historic Market Size by Region (2016-2021)

1.5 Global Social E-commerce Platform Market Size Forecast by Region (2022-2027)

1.6 Key Regions, Social E-commerce Platform Market Size (2016-2027)

1.6.1 North America Social E-commerce Platform Market Size (2016-2027)

1.6.2 Europe Social E-commerce Platform Market Size (2016-2027)

1.6.3 Asia-Pacific Social E-commerce Platform Market Size (2016-2027)

1.6.4 Latin America Social E-commerce Platform Market Size (2016-2027)

1.6.5 Middle East & Africa Social E-commerce Platform Market Size (2016-2027) 2 Social E-commerce Platform Market Overview by Type

2.1 Global Social E-commerce Platform Market Size by Type: 2016 VS 2021 VS 2027

2.2 Global Social E-commerce Platform Historic Market Size by Type (2016-2021)

2.3 Global Social E-commerce Platform Forecasted Market Size by Type (2022-2027)

2.4 Purchase Rebate

2.5 Share Reflection

2.6 Content Shopping Guide 3 Social E-commerce Platform Market Overview by Application

3.1 Global Social E-commerce Platform Market Size by Application: 2016 VS 2021 VS 2027

3.2 Global Social E-commerce Platform Historic Market Size by Application (2016-2021)

3.3 Global Social E-commerce Platform Forecasted Market Size by Application (2022-2027)

3.4 18-30 Years Old

3.5 31-40 Years Old

3.6 Other 4 Social E-commerce Platform Competition Analysis by Players

4.1 Global Social E-commerce Platform Market Size by Players (2016-2021)

4.2 Global Top Players by Company Type (Tier 1, Tier 2 and Tier 3) & (based on the Revenue in Social E-commerce Platform as of 2020)

4.3 Date of Key Players Enter into Social E-commerce Platform Market

4.4 Global Top Players Social E-commerce Platform Headquarters and Area Served

4.5 Key Players Social E-commerce Platform Product Solution and Service

4.6 Competitive Status

4.6.1 Social E-commerce Platform Market Concentration Rate

4.6.2 Mergers & Acquisitions, Expansion Plans 5 Company (Top Players) Profiles and Key Data

5.1 Facebook

5.1.1 Facebook Profile

5.1.2 Facebook Main Business

5.1.3 Facebook Social E-commerce Platform Products, Services and Solutions

5.1.4 Facebook Social E-commerce Platform Revenue (US$ Million) & (2016-2021)

5.1.5 Facebook Recent Developments

5.2 Instagram

5.2.1 Instagram Profile

5.2.2 Instagram Main Business

5.2.3 Instagram Social E-commerce Platform Products, Services and Solutions

5.2.4 Instagram Social E-commerce Platform Revenue (US$ Million) & (2016-2021)

5.2.5 Instagram Recent Developments

5.3 Pinterest

5.3.1 Pinterest Profile

5.3.2 Pinterest Main Business

5.3.3 Pinterest Social E-commerce Platform Products, Services and Solutions

5.3.4 Pinterest Social E-commerce Platform Revenue (US$ Million) & (2016-2021)

5.3.5 Twitter Recent Developments

5.4 Twitter

5.4.1 Twitter Profile

5.4.2 Twitter Main Business

5.4.3 Twitter Social E-commerce Platform Products, Services and Solutions

5.4.4 Twitter Social E-commerce Platform Revenue (US$ Million) & (2016-2021)

5.4.5 Twitter Recent Developments

5.5 Snap

5.5.1 Snap Profile

5.5.2 Snap Main Business

5.5.3 Snap Social E-commerce Platform Products, Services and Solutions

5.5.4 Snap Social E-commerce Platform Revenue (US$ Million) & (2016-2021)

5.5.5 Snap Recent Developments

5.6 Linkedin

5.6.1 Linkedin Profile

5.6.2 Linkedin Main Business

5.6.3 Linkedin Social E-commerce Platform Products, Services and Solutions

5.6.4 Linkedin Social E-commerce Platform Revenue (US$ Million) & (2016-2021)

5.6.5 Linkedin Recent Developments

5.7 ByteDance

5.7.1 ByteDance Profile

5.7.2 ByteDance Main Business

5.7.3 ByteDance Social E-commerce Platform Products, Services and Solutions

5.7.4 ByteDance Social E-commerce Platform Revenue (US$ Million) & (2016-2021)

5.7.5 ByteDance Recent Developments

5.8 Baidu

5.8.1 Baidu Profile

5.8.2 Baidu Main Business

5.8.3 Baidu Social E-commerce Platform Products, Services and Solutions

5.8.4 Baidu Social E-commerce Platform Revenue (US$ Million) & (2016-2021)

5.8.5 Baidu Recent Developments

5.9 Alibaba

5.9.1 Alibaba Profile

5.9.2 Alibaba Main Business

5.9.3 Alibaba Social E-commerce Platform Products, Services and Solutions

5.9.4 Alibaba Social E-commerce Platform Revenue (US$ Million) & (2016-2021)

5.9.5 Alibaba Recent Developments

5.10 Yunji Global

5.10.1 Yunji Global Profile

5.10.2 Yunji Global Main Business

5.10.3 Yunji Global Social E-commerce Platform Products, Services and Solutions

5.10.4 Yunji Global Social E-commerce Platform Revenue (US$ Million) & (2016-2021)

5.10.5 Yunji Global Recent Developments

5.11 Xingin Information Technology

5.11.1 Xingin Information Technology Profile

5.11.2 Xingin Information Technology Main Business

5.11.3 Xingin Information Technology Social E-commerce Platform Products, Services and Solutions

5.11.4 Xingin Information Technology Social E-commerce Platform Revenue (US$ Million) & (2016-2021)

5.11.5 Xingin Information Technology Recent Developments

5.12 Mogu Inc

5.12.1 Mogu Inc Profile

5.12.2 Mogu Inc Main Business

5.12.3 Mogu Inc Social E-commerce Platform Products, Services and Solutions

5.12.4 Mogu Inc Social E-commerce Platform Revenue (US$ Million) & (2016-2021)

5.12.5 Mogu Inc Recent Developments

5.13 Shanghai Xunmeng Information Technology

5.13.1 Shanghai Xunmeng Information Technology Profile

5.13.2 Shanghai Xunmeng Information Technology Main Business

5.13.3 Shanghai Xunmeng Information Technology Social E-commerce Platform Products, Services and Solutions

5.13.4 Shanghai Xunmeng Information Technology Social E-commerce Platform Revenue (US$ Million) & (2016-2021)

5.13.5 Shanghai Xunmeng Information Technology Recent Developments

5.14 Youpin

5.14.1 Youpin Profile

5.14.2 Youpin Main Business

5.14.3 Youpin Social E-commerce Platform Products, Services and Solutions

5.14.4 Youpin Social E-commerce Platform Revenue (US$ Million) & (2016-2021)

5.14.5 Youpin Recent Developments

5.15 Pinduoduo

5.15.1 Pinduoduo Profile

5.15.2 Pinduoduo Main Business

5.15.3 Pinduoduo Social E-commerce Platform Products, Services and Solutions

5.15.4 Pinduoduo Social E-commerce Platform Revenue (US$ Million) & (2016-2021)

5.15.5 Pinduoduo Recent Developments

5.16 Gathered

5.16.1 Gathered Profile

5.16.2 Gathered Main Business

5.16.3 Gathered Social E-commerce Platform Products, Services and Solutions

5.16.4 Gathered Social E-commerce Platform Revenue (US$ Million) & (2016-2021)

5.16.5 Gathered Recent Developments

5.17 Mushroom Street

5.17.1 Mushroom Street Profile

5.17.2 Mushroom Street Main Business

5.17.3 Mushroom Street Social E-commerce Platform Products, Services and Solutions

5.17.4 Mushroom Street Social E-commerce Platform Revenue (US$ Million) & (2016-2021)

5.17.5 Mushroom Street Recent Developments

5.18 Jingdong

5.18.1 Jingdong Profile

5.18.2 Jingdong Main Business

5.18.3 Jingdong Social E-commerce Platform Products, Services and Solutions

5.18.4 Jingdong Social E-commerce Platform Revenue (US$ Million) & (2016-2021)

5.18.5 Jingdong Recent Developments

5.19 Vipshop

5.19.1 Vipshop Profile

5.19.2 Vipshop Main Business

5.19.3 Vipshop Social E-commerce Platform Products, Services and Solutions

5.19.4 Vipshop Social E-commerce Platform Revenue (US$ Million) & (2016-2021)

5.19.5 Vipshop Recent Developments

5.20 Yunpincang

5.20.1 Yunpincang Profile

5.20.2 Yunpincang Main Business

5.20.3 Yunpincang Social E-commerce Platform Products, Services and Solutions

5.20.4 Yunpincang Social E-commerce Platform Revenue (US$ Million) & (2016-2021)

5.20.5 Yunpincang Recent Developments

5.21 Fragrant

5.21.1 Fragrant Profile

5.21.2 Fragrant Main Business

5.21.3 Fragrant Social E-commerce Platform Products, Services and Solutions

5.21.4 Fragrant Social E-commerce Platform Revenue (US$ Million) & (2016-2021)

5.21.5 Fragrant Recent Developments

5.22 Test the water

5.22.1 Test the water Profile

5.22.2 Test the water Main Business

5.22.3 Test the water Social E-commerce Platform Products, Services and Solutions

5.22.4 Test the water Social E-commerce Platform Revenue (US$ Million) & (2016-2021)

5.22.5 Test the water Recent Developments 6 North America

6.1 North America Social E-commerce Platform Market Size by Country (2016-2027)

6.2 United States

6.3 Canada 7 Europe

7.1 Europe Social E-commerce Platform Market Size by Country (2016-2027)

7.2 Germany

7.3 France

7.4 U.K.

7.5 Italy

7.6 Russia

7.7 Nordic

7.8 Rest of Europe 8 Asia-Pacific

8.1 Asia-Pacific Social E-commerce Platform Market Size by Region (2016-2027)

8.2 China

8.3 Japan

8.4 South Korea

8.5 Southeast Asia

8.6 India

8.7 Australia

8.8 Rest of Asia-Pacific 9 Latin America

9.1 Latin America Social E-commerce Platform Market Size by Country (2016-2027)

9.2 Mexico

9.3 Brazil

9.4 Rest of Latin America 10 Middle East & Africa

10.1 Middle East & Africa Social E-commerce Platform Market Size by Country (2016-2027)

10.2 Turkey

10.3 Saudi Arabia

10.4 UAE

10.5 Rest of Middle East & Africa 11 Social E-commerce Platform Market Dynamics

11.1 Social E-commerce Platform Industry Trends

11.2 Social E-commerce Platform Market Drivers

11.3 Social E-commerce Platform Market Challenges

11.4 Social E-commerce Platform Market Restraints 12 Research Finding /Conclusion 13 Methodology and Data Source 13.1 Methodology/Research Approach

13.1.1 Research Programs/Design

13.1.2 Market Size Estimation

13.1.3 Market Breakdown and Data Triangulation

13.2 Data Source

13.2.1 Secondary Sources

13.2.2 Primary Sources

13.3 Disclaimer

13.4 Author List

About Us:

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Victorian home that couple transformed into Instagram sensation could be yours for £600k

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If you love scrolling social media and looking at Instagram and Pinterest-worthy homes, then one house that’s just gone on sale could be perfect for you.

A three-bedroom Victorian terraced property in the suburb of Pontcanna in Cardiff is on the market with Hern & Crabtree for £600,000 following an impressive transformation by owners Alec and Robin Taylor.

The couple gave the standard home a makeover, getting rid of the magnolia walls and adding various splashes of bold colour such as green, blue and black to create an online sensation, garnering thousands of likes and followers in return for their hard work.

According to Wales Online, the house has also made an appearance on the BBC property show, Best House in Town and as such is considered to be one of the best homes in Cardiff.

The hallway of the Victorian home

The home has become popular on Instagram

The living room, with green walls and palm tree wallpaper

Alec and Robin love to use playful colours and wallpaper

Speaking to the publication, Alec shared how their interior design adventure began when they bought the house over three years ago.

He said: “We were total novices, so we started slowly, with some paint and wallpaper in the rooms we were in the most, inspired by the age of the house, and some of the beautiful old furniture we have inherited from family.

“Robin loves the Arts and Crafts movement and Art Deco, too, and is generally a maximalist, where one prefers lots of pattern and colour. We started with the idea of using period-sensitive wallpaper and colours.”

He says they spent a lot of time looking online for visual inspiration and his wife was especially keen to follow in the footsteps of designers such as Luke Edward Hall and Beata Heuman, who “constantly remind [them] that homes should be playful and joyful”.

A blue bedroom in the house

The property was featured on BBC’s Best Home in Town

A claw-foot bathtub in the black and white bathroom

The bathroom is classic

The eclectic and whimsy design style they love has meant they were able to source furniture and accessories from extended family, as well as rummaging online to source quality second-hand items.

Alec continued to say: ” Facebook Marketplace, Gumtree, eBay are great places and help achieve a collected, lived-in look, and is far more environmentally friendly than buying new furniture that may not last long.

“Most of our furniture was second hand or restored, even carrying one of the sofas down the back alleys of Pontcanna on the bonnet of a car!”

The couple love an eclectic mix of old and new and wanted their home’s interior to feel like it was collected and put together over time, rather than selected out of a page of a catalogue or a showroom.

Throughout the home, visitors will spot furniture items ranging from mid-century modern to Victorian and Edwardian.

Their bold style has garnered a lot of attention on Robin’s Instagram account @goodinteriors_robin.

“We always got really positive feedback from our friends, and shock at the transformation in some cases,” Robin added.

“Not to mention some growing fame on social media, as our house has its own Instagram account and started attracting thousands of followers from all over the UK and even beyond.

“Much more popular than our own social networks combined!”

The house with more online followers than the owners is for sale for £600,000 with estate agent Hern & Crabtree and the property listing reads: “This breathtakingly stunning family home occupies an enviable position on the picturesque, tree-lined Ryder Street and situated minutes away from the bustling Artisan Cafes, Coffee Shops & Delis on offer in the fashionable Pontcanna area.

The kitchen and dining room in the victorian house

The home is on the market with Hern & Crabtree

“Something of an interior designer’s dream, this handsome bay-fronted abode offers an eclectic array of decor throughout and coupled with the gorgeous original features, this exquisite home truly is something special.

“The welcoming hall with immaculate tiled floor sets the tone of this marvellous home as you enter with light and airy ground floor accommodation comprising the bay-fronted lounge, sitting room, dining room, utility room, cloakroom and the extended kitchen with seating area and glazed doors opening to the rear garden.

“To the first floor are three spacious double bedrooms, four-piece bathroom suite complete with freestanding roll-top bathtub and walk-in shower, separate W.C and stairs rising to the loft room.

“Enclosed forecourt to the front with original quarry-tiled path whilst the rear garden offers a generous sized patio bordered with raised flower borders and an array of mature plants and trees. An amazing opportunity to purchase an amazing home!”

Do you have a story to share? We want to hear all about it. Email us at yourmirror@mirror.co.uk

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Forget Facebook, Buy These 2 Social Media Stocks Instead

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Snap and Pinterest offer more growth with less drama.

Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) is considered by many to be a top investment in the booming social media market. Its namesake platform serves 2.8 billion monthly active users (MAUs), making it the world’s largest social network by a mile, and 3.3 billion people access its family of apps — including Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp — every month.

Facebook’s revenue and earnings rose 22% and 57%, respectively, in fiscal 2020, as it overcame a pandemic-induced dip in ad spending in the first half of the year. Analysts expect its revenue and earnings to rise 25% and 13%, respectively, this year — and the stock still looks surprisingly cheap at 20 times forward earnings.

But despite those strengths, I sold my shares of Facebook last month, for three simple reasons. First, the deadly Capitol riot indicates it is losing control of its own platform. Second, Facebook’s growth will likely decelerate as Apple starts allowing iOS users to opt out of targeted ads this year. Lastly, the regulatory headwinds — which include calls for the company to divest its other apps and be held accountable for its users’ actions — are too fierce to ignore.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

Image source: Facebook.

So instead of sticking with Facebook, I retained my long-term position in Snap (NYSE:SNAP) and started a new position in Pinterest (NYSE:PINS). Here’s why I believe these two social media stocks will continue to outperform Facebook over the next few years.

Avoiding Facebook’s biggest problems

Snap and Pinterest have both carved out high-growth niches in the social media market. Snap’s Snapchat has captured the Gen Z and millennial markets with its ephemeral messages, AR lenses, and Discover videos. And Pinterest has attracted older female users with its virtual pinboards, which encouraged them to share their interests, ideas, and hobbies with other users.

Snap and Pinterest have both established first-mover’s advantages in their markets. Facebook cloned many of Snapchat’s features and baked them into Messenger and Instagram, but Snapchat kept growing. Facebook launched a Pinterest clone called Hobbi last February but killed it off after just a few months.

Snap and Pinterest have also been well-insulated from the misinformation controversies that have plagued Facebook and Twitter throughout the election cycle and the pandemic, since neither platform is generally used to share news stories or political opinions.

Snap and Pinterest also serve much smaller audiences than Facebook, which shields them from antitrust probes. In fact, both companies would likely profit from any crackdowns on Facebook’s family of apps.

Snap and Pinterest are growing much faster

Snap’s daily active users (DAUs) rose 22% year over year to 265 million last quarter, representing an acceleration from its previous quarter.

A young woman takes a selfie.

Image source: Getty Images.

Its revenue jumped 62% year over year to $911 million, marking its strongest quarterly growth in three years. Its average revenue per user (ARPU) jumped 33% to $3.44, marking its strongest growth in five quarters.

Snap’s adjusted EBITDA also quadrupled to $166 million as its non-GAAP EPS tripled. Snap attributed those incredible growth rates to the expansion of its ecosystem with new Discover videos, AR lenses, and in-app games, and its rising pricing power in online ads.

Pinterest’s MAUs rose 37% year over year to 459 million last quarter. Its ARPU increased 12% to $4.26, and its total revenue surged 48% to $1.69 billion. Its adjusted EBITDA nearly quadrupled to $299.2 million, and its non-GAAP earnings more than tripled.

Pinterest attributed its growth to its overseas expansion, as well as robust demand for its sponsored and “shoppable” pins, which many retailers used to upload their entire catalogs. Pinterest’s design — which allows users to share home, fashion, travel, and other ideas on its platform — arguably makes it a much more organic “social shopping” experience than Instagram.

Snap and Pinterest aren’t profitable by GAAP measures yet, mainly due to high stock-based compensation expenses. But in the near term, the market will likely focus on their growth in revenue and users.

Rosy expectations and reasonable valuations

We should always be skeptical of analysts’ estimates, but Snap and Pinterest are both expected to generate much stronger revenue growth than Facebook over the next two years:

Estimated Revenue Growth (YOY)

FY 2021

FY 2022

Snap

50%

38%

Pinterest

48%

36%

Facebook

25%

20%

Data source: Yahoo Finance, Feb. 24. YOY = Year over year.

Based on these projections, Snap and Pinterest trade at about 28 and 22 times this year’s sales, respectively. Those valuations are high, especially when Facebook trades at just seven times this year’s sales — but they remain cheaper than those of many other high-growth tech stocks.

Those analysts’ estimates could even be too low. Snap recently declared that it could maintain over 50% sales growth for “multiple years” at its first-ever investor day. If Snap delivers on that promise, its price-to-sales ratio could contract quickly as its profitability improves. I wouldn’t be surprised if Pinterest makes a similar long-term prediction and forces analysts to rethink their expectations.

The bottom line

Facebook isn’t doomed, but I no longer want to own its stock, for both ethical and fundamental reasons. If you feel the same way, consider replacing Facebook with Snap and Pinterest as your main social media investments.

 

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis — even one of our own — helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.

Leo Sun owns shares of Apple, Pinterest, and Snap Inc. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Apple, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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