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 2016 soared by more than 50% to $27.6bn, while net income almost trebled to over $10bn. The number of monthly active users surpassed 2 billion people for the first time in June 2017. 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 Nov 2017: There was no slowdown in Facebook's continuing growth curve, although in his address to investors, CEO Mark Zuckerberg acknowledged the ongoing controversy over exploitation of the platform by Russia-backed propagandists to spread discord during last year's Presidential election. "Our community continues to grow and our business is doing well," he said. "But none of that matters if our services are used in ways that don't bring people closer together. We're serious about preventing abuse on our platforms. We're investing so much in security that it will impact our profitability. Protecting our community is more important than maximizing our profits." Among other actions, the company plans to double its team of security and safety moderators to 20,000 staff by the end of 2018, and is building AI systems that will help to identify "bad content and bad actors". The group also announced plans to invest heavily in commissioned video content in a bid to match similar efforts by Apple and Google's YouTube, all of whom are chasing the lead established by Netflix and Amazon. For now, though, there was no discernible impact on profit, which soared by 79%, topping $4bn for the first time to hit a staggering $4.7bn, while revenues leapt 47% to another high of $10.3bn. Perhaps the most impressive achievement was the jump in profit margin by almost eight full percentage points to 45%. Daily and monthly active users both jumped by 16% to 1.4bn and 2.1bn individuals respectively.

Adbrands Weekly Update 27th Jul 2017: Facebook reported another spectacular set of results for 2Q, beating estimates for something like the 15th consecutive quarter. The company has been trying to lower analysts' expectations for at least the past year, warning that there are limits to the number of ads it can display in users' news feeds. The 47% rise in ad revenues this quarter - an increase that other media channels can only dream about - was actually the lowest for almost two years. But so far though there has been no serious net effect on financial performance, not least because of a significant rise in ad rates, up by an average 24% in 2Q. As a result, total revenues jumped by 45% $9.3bn, while net income powered up 71% to $3.9bn, surpassing ad rival Google for the first time.

Adbrands Weekly Update 4th May 2017: Facebook excelled in Q1 with a staggering 76% jump in profit to $3.1bn on revenues up 49% to $8.03bn. Both figures were well above expectations. The number of regular monthly users reached a new high of 1.94bn, and 1.28bn people use the site daily. Facebook executives tried to temper future expectations, suggesting that advertising growth is unlikely to maintain current levels for the rest of the year. However, that might come as news to Facebook's advertisers. In a recent survey by RBC Capital Markets, almost two-thirds of current ad customers plan to increase their spend. Around 40% of them now spend at least a fifth of their online budgets on the site, up from 31% in February 2016.

Adbrands Weekly Update 4th May 2017: The latest annual ranking from Zenith Media of the world's biggest ad-funded media organisations underlines the dominance of Alphabet and Facebook over other companies. Between them they banked 20% of all international global expenditure in 2016, or over $105bn, and accounted for almost two-thirds of the growth across the sector as a whole. Their combined haul was as much as the next 28 media companies combined. With ad revenues over $79bn, Alphabet alone accounted for 15% of total spend. Facebook reaped in $27bn. Of the others, only two generated more than $10bn: Comcast at almost $13bn and China's Tencent at $10bn.

Adbrands Weekly Update 2nd Feb 2017: Facebook erased earlier fears of a slowdown in advertising growth with another spectacular set of results for 2016. Concerns that it may have reached a limit on the number of ads it can insert in timelines were offset by a big increase in the number of those individual users; the biggest since Facebook went public five years ago, in fact. Daily active users jumped 18% year-on-year to 1.23bn people, of whom almost all - 1.15bn - accessed the service on mobile devices. Monthly active users were just under 1.9bn. As a result, annual revenues soared by 54% - or almost $10bn - to $27.6bn. Much of that increase went straight to the bottom line, with net income almost trebling to an exceptional $10.2bn.

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