User expectations on the web have changed. The advent of social networks has taken us from a static web to one that is incredibly interactive and personal; a web where users expect immersive social experiences wherever they go. Businesses that do not recognize this fundamental shift in user expectations run the high risk of losing customer interest, and market share along with it.

While some businesses sit on the sidelines of innovation, a new wave of visionaries are racing to the top of their respective industries. The defining difference for many of these hungry newcomers is the ability to leverage social networks to provide users with unparalleled site experiences. Three brands – The Huffington Post, Spotify, and Airbnb – are disrupting the status quo of their industries, and are doing so by building social infrastructure into the core of their product.

Huffington Post

There’s no question that The Huffington Post has completely disrupted online publishing. From 2008 to present, the publisher has grown from practically nothing to the 11th most popular web destination in the U.S. It’s now the most trafficked pure publisher on the web, overtaking the likes of CNN, The New York Times, and AOL. So why has HuffPo seen so much success while other publishers flounder?

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