Facebook’s revenues in the last quarter of 2013 were US$2.59 billion, vastly exceeding analysts’ expectations. Annual revenues were US$7.87 billion. The company made US$1.5 billion in profit last year, eight times more than last year, with more than one third of that generated in the last quarter.
Shares rose 16% on the news, giving the company a market capitalisation exceeding US$150 billion (google is worth US$380 billion). Facebook now has 1.23 billion active users, about 20% of the global population.
Facebook was founded by Mark Zuckerberg on 4 February 2004. He still owns nearly one third of the company, which makes him worth nearly US$50 billion (Bill Gates is worth about US$75 billion).
Next Tuesday marks Facebook’s tenth anniversary. It went public, in a poorly handled IPO rife with allegations of insider trading, two years ago. The problems associated with the float are now largely forgotten. Money is a great forgiver.
Along with Google, which is only slightly older, Facebook is the face of the 21st century Internet. Its use is ubiquitous – it has defined the term ‘social media’. But it is reviled by many for its invasions of privacy, its marketing practices, and its seemingly unending ability to waste its users’ time on trivial matters.
Happy tenth birthday, Facebook.