Facebook Inc (US)

Facebook has become one of the definitive icons of the modern digital age, a virtual embodiment of the human potential of the internet as a tool for interpersonal communication and information sharing. It is also something of a fairy tale in which a computer nerd with limited interpersonal skills of his own became one of the world's richest individuals before he was 30 by ruthlessly pursuing his own vision and then cashing in with what was then the biggest technology IPO of all-time. In this fairy tale, Facebook's creator and CEO Mark Zuckerberg is arguably the hero and the villain combined, certainly according to his many detractors, and for a while it was far from clear yet just how happy the ending of this story would be. Even with its vast audience, which first topped 1bn monthly active users in Oct 2012, Facebook's ability to justify its sky-high $100bn-plus valuation seemed untested, and there were distinct wobbles in the first months following the site's IPO, not least after the company paid $1bn to buy Instagram, a service with virtually no revenues. Yet Facebook has gradually won over most sceptics (despite the even more astronomical $22bn purchase of Whatsapp). It managed to accumulate an extraordinary #2 position in mobile advertising (behind Google) in little more than a year, and its overall sales growth appears to justify all those original expectations. Revenues for 2017 soared by almost 50% to $40.6bn, while net income was almost $19bn. The number of daily active users surpassed 2 billion people for the first time in June 2017; 1.4bn use the site on a daily basis. Adbrands does not currently offer a business profile for this company but subscribers may access account assignments and contact information. The searchable account assignments database is available to full subscribers to Adbrands.net premium services. Click here to access Adbrands account assignments (subscribers only); or see here for information on how to subscribe.

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Capsule checked 28th June 2017

Recent stories from Adbrands Weekly Update:

Adbrands Weekly Update 2nd Aug 2018: Facebook suffered the biggest ever one-day fall in value of a US listed company after it missed its earnings forecast and warned of slowing revenue growth in the second half and in 2019. There was also a sharp slowdown in growth in daily active users, including the first ever year-on-year decline in Europe. Despite record quarterly revenues of $13.2bn - up 41% on the year-ago quarter - more than $120bn was wiped from Facebook's valuation. The stock has continued to decline this week, but it is a sign of just how far Facebook's growth has soared in the past four months that it has only reverted to the same level as it held in April this year. Separately, the group said it has already identified and terminated more than 30 fake Facebook and Instagram accounts engaged in "inauthentic behaviour" ahead of the upcoming US midterm elections. "We don't know for sure who is behind the activity we found, which is why we have not named a specific group or country," said outgoing chief security officer Alex Stamos.

Adbrands Weekly Update 31st May 2018: Technology brands continued to dominate in the 2018 edition of WPP's annual Brandz ranking, compiled by Kantar Millward Brown. Google still holds the top spot with a valuation of $302bn, up 23%, but Apple is closing fast with a 28% rise to just under $301bn. Amazon overtook Microsoft for the #3 spot, but both are still around $100bn behind the two leading brands by valuation, while Facebook was #6 on $162bn. The biggest change among the Top Ten was the arrival of of China's twin internet giants Tencent and Alibaba, ranked #5 and #9 respectively for 2018. Another Chinese brand, ecommerce company JD.com was the single biggest riser among the full Top 100 with an increase in valuation of 94%, though it remains for now way down the overall ranking at #59. There was also a big increase for Chinese alcoholic spirit Moutai, as well as the more familiar Paypal, Netflix and Gucci. New additions to the Top 100 included US cable company Spectrum, Uber, Instagram and another Chinese brand, courier company SF Express. The combined value of the Top 100 brands jumped by an astonishing 21% - its biggest ever increase - to $4,400bn. Download the full report at Brandz.com.

Adbrands Weekly Update 3rd May 2018: The biggest news from Facebook's first F8 developer conference was the revelation that the social media giant is to launch a new dating service aimed at the 200m or so users who currently identify themselves as "single" on their profiles. "This is for building real long-term relationships, not just hookups," said CEO Mark Zuckerberg. It's certainly an unexpected development considering Facebook's current issues with privacy. "We're surprised at the timing, given the amount of personal and sensitive data that comes with this territory," said Mandy Ginsberg, CEO of leading dating site operator Match.com, which also owns Tinder and OKcupid. "We understand this category better than anyone. Facebook's entry will only be invigorating to all of us," said her boss Joey Levin, CEO of parent group IAC. "Their product could be great for US-Russia relationships," he added in a dig at the allegations that Russian agents used Facebook to spread electoral discord during the recent Presidential election. Yet jokes aside, the news sent a chill wind through Match.com and IAC investors. Match.com's shares plunged by 22% in the wake of Facebook's announcement, and IAC was down 17%.

Adbrands Weekly Update 26th Apr 2018: Not to be outdone by Alphabet, Facebook reported even more spectacular growth. Performance for 1Q reached new highs, with revenues up 50% year-on-year to just under $12.0bn - the group's second highest result after 4Q 2017 - while net income soared by 63% to almost $5.0bn. Total users rose to 2.2bn. The company said it had seen no "meaningful" impact from the Cambridge Analytica scandal, which broke towards the very end of 1Q. However, CEO Mark Zuckerberg repeated his pledge to safeguard the privacy of Facebook users. "We are taking a broader view of our responsibility and investing to make sure our tools are used for good. And we also need to keep moving forward, building new tools to help people connect, build community and bring the world closer together." 

Adbrands Weekly Update 5th Apr 2018: Facebook updated the public on the results of its investigation into data harvesting by Cambridge Analytica. It disclosed that the number of users whose personal information was accessed was far higher than the 50m previously estimated, and could be as many as 87m worldwide, including almost 71m in the US. More than 1m users in each of three other countries - the Philippines, Indonesia and the UK - were also harvested, as well as between 300,000 and 715,000 in Mexico, Canada, India, Brazil, Vietnam and Australia. Facebook said it has made a number of changes to improve user privacy and restrict access by third-parties to data collected on the site. However, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said it will require a "multiyear effort" to resolve all Facebook's security and content issues. He has agreed to appear before two US Senate committees next week to discuss social media and abuse of user data.

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