Growth5 Blog

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Facebook Hits 300 Million Users: Cash Flow Positive

Facebook announced that they have reached 300 million users and are cash flow positive. As part of their announcement, they released some interesting stats:
1. They have added 50 million users since July and 100 million users in the last six months alone.

2. 70% of their user base is now outside the U.S.

3. More than two thirds of Facebook users are out of college.

4. Fastest growing demographic is people 35 and older.

5. 65 million mobile users, growing faster than Facebook.com users and mobile users are more active on Facebook than non-mobile users.

6. Estimated revenue of more than $500 million for 2009.
Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook's COO, spoke to Fortune magazine about the announcement here.

When asked about Facebook increasing ad placements this year amid the greatest recession since the Great Depression, Sandberg said, "what's happened to us, is that those advertising dollars I think are looking for more efficient ways to reach more people and really engage with more users. And so even though the overall ad markets are down and they have been down for a couple of years in a row, which is unprecedented, our ad spend is dramatically increasing as people are looking for really good value and ways to really engage with users."

On advertising strategy: "on a lot of other sites you see big banner ads and things that pop up and interrupt your experience. Our advertisements are very much part of the user experience... We launched ad products that really fit in with how our users use the site."

What about the competition, like Yahoo or Google? "What we are trying to do is not be the 'one place' - our business model is not drive everyone to Facebook.com. We're different, our goal is to help everyone connect with whoever they want to connect with and we want to do it wherever people are."

Privacy. "For Facebook we've set the highest bar for privacy on the Internet. We give users the most granular privacy settings on the Internet. We do not give out any information to advertisers about users, specific user information. We let advertisers say I want to target 35 year old women who live in San Diego, and they do that in an aggregated way, but they never know anything about any individual, and we're very serious about maintaining those privacy controls."

Additional Source:
Facebook Cites Rapid Growth in Users, Cash Flow (WSJ)

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