What Is GAFA? Inside The Multi-Platform Ecosystem That Dominates The World

GAFA is an acronym for Google, Apple, Facebook, and Amazon. The term GAFA might have become extremely popular when France’s publishers and media started to use the concept to mean the tech monopolists that control a large chunk of global digital information and online commerce.




As of 2017, over ninety billion dollars, which consisted of 86% of Google’s revenues came from advertising networks. The remaining fraction (about 13%) came from Apps, organization" id="urn:enhancement-621d5721-28ca-df78-cde7-0b99cf962710">Google Cloud, and Hardware. While a bit more than 1% came from bets like Access, Calico, CapitalG, GV, Nest, Verily, Waymo and X.

Read: Google Business Model and Google Business Strategy



organization wl-link" id="urn:enhancement-997afa1a-cec6-1624-42d8-a7340664c0a4">Amazon has a diversified business model. In 2018, online stores contributed to nearly 52% of organization wl-link" id="urn:enhancement-2bcc4a6e-457a-0474-8b5b-3192d59741e3">Amazon revenues, followed by Physical Stores, Third-party Seller Services, AWS, Subscription Services, and Advertising revenues.

Read: Amazon Business Model and organization wl-link" id="urn:enhancement-399cd170-890c-2315-9876-5c1213d23c81">Amazon Business Strategy



organization wl-link" id="urn:enhancement-8fee9afd-ad1c-4bd6-d4b8-67df1287ca5f">Facebook makes money with an advertising business model. Almost all the revenue comes from targeted advertising. Indeed, organization wl-link" id="urn:enhancement-aa2f7d41-0e68-8abc-786b-6debe1a67aeb">Facebook revenue breakdown in 2018 was:

  • Advertising (over 98% of revenues): it primarily consists of displaying ad products on organization wl-link" id="urn:enhancement-792cec23-a0fe-2de9-851c-e50a41af2d33">Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and third-party 
  • Payments and other fees (less than 2% of total revenues):  it consists of the net fee received from developers using Payments infrastructure or revenue from the delivery of virtual reality platform devices and others

Read: Facebook Business Model and Facebook Business Strategy



When looking at the organization" id="urn:enhancement-ea647c26-1ac2-7ada-e1c5-4749d9e8abae">Apple Business Model, it is easy to assume that it is solely a product company, which sells devices that are beautifully crafted. However, there would have been no success for the Mac without its OS operating system. There would not have been iPod success without iTunes. And no success for iPhones without the Apple Store.

Read: Apple Business Model and Apple Business Strategy

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