market share

A company's percentage of the overall consumer or business market, based on how many people or companies regularly purchase its product or service. For example, if a company is said to have 30 percent market share within its industry niche, that means 30 percent of the buyers in that niche go to that particular company to purchase its products or services.

Historical perspective: MapQuest used to be the Internet's most popular source for maps and driving directions until Google came along. Founded by R.R. Donnelley & Sons in the 1960's, MapQuest was initially a cartographic service that was responsible for creating road maps given to gas station customers for free. By 1991, they combined custom-mapping expertise with advanced spatial technology to pioneer next-generation e-publishing software for interactive mapping applications. They developed numerous electronic applications for contact centers, kiosks, client/server environments, CD-ROM applications, and wireless devices. In February 1996, MapQuest launched the first consumer-focused interactive mapping site on the Web and became first-to-market within its online niche. In 1999, MapQuest changed its name to, relocated to New York City, and accomplished a successful IPO; it became part of the America Online family of brands (then Oath, then Verizon). At one point MapQuest was the largest consumer mapping and business solutions provider (BSP), as well as one of the most popular and recognized Internet brands. Since then, Google Maps has pretty much taken over in terms of "market share."

NetLingo Classification: Online Business