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. 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
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Adbrands Weekly Update 1st Nov 2018: Technology stars Amazon, Alphabet and Facebook all posted strong profit growth in 3Q but suffered slowdowns in revenues, prompting further falls in their already beleaguered stock prices, which have been in steep decline over the past month following record highs in the summer. Facebook had already warned of slowing growth when it released its 2Q figures, prompting a dramatic plunge in its share price in July. As a result, analysts were prepared for the latest numbers. Revenues reached a new high of $13.7bn, up 33%, but that was slightly less than forecast and the lowest percentage increase for six years. Net income rose 9% to $5.1bn, the slowest growth rate since 2015. Total daily active users edged up to a little under 1.5bn, but all growth came from from Asia Pacific and "Rest of the World" markets. Daily users in Europe fell for the second consecutive quarter, while US users were flat. Mark Zuckerberg admitted that Facebook "may be close to saturated in developed markets".
Adbrands Weekly Update 18th Oct 2018: Facebook revealed further details of its mammoth recent data hack. A bit of good news was that only 29m users were directly affected rather than the 50m originally estimated. However, around 14m of those users were victims of an unusually intimate data haul, in which their names, contact information, relationship status, religion, birth date, check-in locations and recent searches were all stolen. Another 15m had only their names and contact information taken. The breach is still under investigation to determine possible motives for the attack or its perpetrators. However, current indications are that no foreign state was involved. The attack seems to have been conducted by an organisation of spammers already known to Facebook's security team.
Adbrands Weekly Update 4th Oct 2018: Facebook said it had discovered a security flaw that allowed hackers to access up to 50m user accounts. The attack was extremely sophisticated, using a loophole in the option that allows users to view their profiles as other people see them. Hackers were able to steal copies of the digital keys that gave them the same access to the accounts as their legitimate owners. It's still not clear what the motivation was for the theft, or who committed it. Users' posts don't seem to have been tampered with, and there was no access to banking or password information.
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 Company Profiles assess more than 1,000 leading advertisers, brands and agencies, and examine each company's business record, geographic strength and comparative performance within its chosen sector, including strengths and weaknesses, history, up-to-date news and top-line financial information. What else does the company do? How did it originate? What other brands does it own? How is it performing in the market? With what other businesses is it affiliated?
Adbrands Account Assignments is a database tracking account management for the world's leading brands and companies. In other words, which advertising agency handles which accounts in which countries. Fully searchable by brand, brandowner company or advertising agency, the database now contains more than 15,000 worldwide account assignments for over 4,000 leading brands.
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