Can anybody stop Facebook?

New crop of potential Facebook killers emerge, then Facebook starts buying them.

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In the fast-paced world of social media, new companies burst onto the scene all the time and once-popular sites fade into oblivion. But amid the constant upheaval, the Big 3 – Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter -- continue to dominate in their respective niches.

However, Facebook has clearly separated itself from everyone else in the world of social media. Facebook has 1.1 billion monthly active users and just reported quarterly revenue of $2.5 billion and profits of $642 million. LinkedIn, with 300 million users, just reported a $13.4 million quarterly net loss. And Twitter, which has been struggling because of stagnant user growth, has yet to turn a profit.

Three years ago, when Network World published a list of potential Facebook killers, the upstarts that we identified were Empire Avenue, Color (by Color Labs Inc.), foursquare, Hunch, and IMVU.

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