Apple has taken a beating in the last few weeks, shedding about two billion dollars in market capitalization. However, the Apple Watch’s success in recent months puts the company at the top of our Winners list. Anybody that matters in fashion is wearing the Apple Watch, making its producer one of the world’s top luxury brands.
A big winner that’s not as well-known: Palantir. The company builds software that ties databases together, making it easier to search and analyze information. It recently ranked fourth on a list of the most valuable startups, following Uber, Xiaomi, and Airbnb. Palantir booked more than one billion dollars in 2014, cementing its position among the unicorns, which brings us to another winner, the U.S. While 72 of the 108 unicorns are based in the U.S., only nine hail from Europe, pointing to the continent’s dearth of innovation.
Another major winner: tennis. With the U.S. Open set to start next week, the sport’s social media season is in full swing. Only basketball and football players have more followers than tennis stars. We took a closer look at individual players’ social media rankings and found that Rafael Nadal had the most followers overall, with an impressive 23 million across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Maria Sharapova is the most popular tennis player on Facebook with more than 14.5 million followers, while Serena Williams dominates Instagram with more than one million. However, the most important metric for brands is who does the best job broadcasting their sponsored messages. The winner here: Andy Murray, who integrates Standard Life and Under Armour into his social media missives.
Our final winner this week: Imgur. The most popular image sharing platform in the world, Imgur has over 150 million active users — double the traffic of Pinterest. Frequently dubbed “Pinterest for guys,” Imgur has a 75% male audience, and now that the platform has opened to advertising, brands have a chance to appeal to the elusive millennial male demographic. During beta tests with brands such as eBay, promoted posts on Imgur achieved close to 25 seconds of viewership.
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