How Do Digital Giants Deal with Competition?

Surviving Media Reinvention in the digital era

T. Gavasheli, C. A. Koshiikene, M. Musatova, I. Tabachenko, S. Roussou, A. Villegas

All types of communication like phone calls, texts or face-to-face interactions are gradually being replaced by chatting through social media, sending images or video-calling through applications like FaceTime or Skype. Most of the human interaction depends, nowadays, on platforms run by digital giants.

In this digital era, companies such as Amazon, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Apple are dominating the markets and leaving small space, if any, for competition.

Although these companies seem to be the most innovative ones during our time, we should still raise questions like:

What is truly putting and securing these media giants’ spots on the top of the industry? Their innovative spirit or is it their aggressive business model?

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Photo By Doug Chayka

Last January, the investor and philanthropist George Soros has launched an explosive attack on Facebook and Google at the World Economic Forum in Davos. He argued that because of their size, Facebook and Google have showed “monopolistic behavior”, hampering democracy and encouraging “addiction” to game companies; thus making them a “threat to society”.

He also claimed that while Facebook and Google claim themselves as “mere distributors of information”, in reality their size have allowed them to become “obstacles to innovation and competition,” henceforth calling for significantly more regulatory oversight of these companies.”

You can watch his testimonial

The race for innovations and digital sovereignty

It is undeniable that the digital sovereignty of such enterprises is so big that even if other companies beat them to an idea, they have the means to incorporate it into their own products and platforms and make it not only better than the original one but also more popular and profitable. A good example of this is the app Snapchat: the communication through photo/video messages that disappear forever after they are viewed was a huge success and attracted many young users. Shortly after, the app Instagram as part of the Facebook Company, with the use of its resources, added the “Stories” feature to its platform, which was remarkable similar to Snapchat. Instagram kept updating the feature, adding more to it until it was a better and improved version and eventually Snapchat started losing audience and popularity.

By January 2017, news media TechCrunch reported that “regular users’ Snapchat usage/engagement have gone down significantly since the release of Instagram Stories” and that from “August to November 2016, the average unique viewers per Snapchat Story had decreased about 40%”.This calculated move secured Instagram position as the most popular photo and video-sharing app and on top of its competitors.

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It seems that for now – given their resources and their position in the market – the current digital giants can keep on grasping every opportunity to ensure their future. From today’s point of view, imagining a world where Google is replaced, where everyone is not using Facebook or iPhones are not a trend anymore, seems inconceivable.

So, is there actually a possible threat for big tech companies to fear? Can their competition catch up with them and claim their success and glory?

Today, the likelihood for a real competition within the digital world gets smaller every day.

In other word, domination for the top spot in the digital field is the battle of our age. New companies on the field will have to work extra hard to compete with the ones that have already established their position and power.

 

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