Understanding Social Platforms
There’s no doubt that social platforms have had an enormous impact on both the Web and mobile over the past decade. There are great lessons to be learned from some of the major players and their success stories.
So, why are we writing an ebook on social platforms? At Version One we have a keen interest in all network effects businesses – including marketplaces and social platforms. Version One, as well as Boris as an angel, have invested in social platforms like Abstract, Edmodo, Figure 1, Shift Messenger, Wattpad, among others.
Over the past year, as we have been refining our investment thesis, we realized that not much has been written about social platform businesses. This is most likely because social platforms like Twitter, WhatsApp, and Figure 1 are unique: it’s hard to draw conclusions that apply across them all.
Here is our overview of social platforms and the insights we have gained through investing in, and watching, social platform businesses. We’ll walk through our classification of each platform type, the dynamics that make them work, metrics, exits, and valuations. We’ll summarize our outlook for future opportunities in social, from the enterprise and niche verticals, to Messaging as a Platform and conversational commerce. We hope you’ll find it useful in your own journey.