Social media is now a $16.9 billion business, according to 2012 estimates by Gartner.
The technology research company believes social media will generate $8.8 billion from advertising, $6.2 billion from social gaming revenue and another $278 million from subscription accounts.
These numbers include social media powerhouses like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, though multiple companies in the industry have struggled a bit financially despite massive growth.
Facebook (Nasdaq: FB) has seen its shares drop more than $9 below its initial public offering price of $38, which it debuted in May. Zygna Inc. (Nasdaq: ZNGA), a social gaming service that supplies games like Farmville to Facebook, has seen its shares take a beating after badly missing its second-quarter earnings projections. Its shares were down more than 38 percent in after-market trading on Wednesday.
Others like Twitter have been given valuations of more than $8 billion, but have struggled to generate enough revenue to match the lofty values.