Live: Amazon Product Event Prime Sale Lenovo Duet 3 Windows 11 Update HP OLED Laptop Gift Card Deal Bluetooth Boom Boxes Huawei Mate XS 2
Want CNET to notify you of price drops and the latest stories?
No, thank you

Social media makes money

And a lot of it. With promoted posts, new e-commerce plays, and other endeavors, Facebook and Twitter have found ways to make a pretty penny.

There's gold in them thar tweets. Here's a promoted tweet from Samsung. Screenshot by Jennifer Guevin/CNET

Sure, the Facebook IPO faceplant marred the idea that the world's biggest social network is worth anywhere near the $100 billion market valuation that bankers gave it out of the gate. But look beyond that massive miscalculation and you'll find plenty of evidence that 2012 was a breakthrough year for social media -- businesswise, that is.

Facebook's on track to post revenue of more than $5 billion for 2012 -- a growing portion of that coming from ads it serves to people doing their social networking from their phones. And it's amping up its commerce business, whereby you can give actual, through-the-mail gifts to friends via Facebook.

Then there's Twitter, long derided for its money-burning ways. Turns out promoted tweets are quite a business: eMarketer estimates that Twitter's revenue will jump more than 86 percent to almost $260 million this year, and some are projecting a billion in revenue by 2014. Now that's something to tweet about.

Go back to the CNET 100