Thursday, February 2, 2012

Pretty Soon You Can Own Facebook

No, Mark Zuckerberg is not selling off his $28 billion cash-cow. At least not most of it, anyway. Facebook is preparing to sell their stock for the first time, however, so they have chosen to release some statistics to the world. The following article from the BBC offers some greater insight into this social-media giant that has consumed our fascination and free-time over the past decade. Some of these statistics are really interesting. I've bold-ed some of my favorites.


  • Facebook is an advertising company. Of its total revenues of $3.7bn in 2011, 85% came from advertising. And that is down from 98% and 95% in the previous two years.
  • The company makes $1bn in pure profit.
  • Facebook has a total of 845 million monthly users and 483 million daily users.
  • Of its monthly users, half have used Facebook on their mobile. (But there are no ads on its mobile site, so it makes no money from them.)
  • The majority of its money comes from the US, but the majority of the users are outside the country.
  • And the majority of its non-US revenues comes from western Europe, Canada, and Australia.
  • The company generates 2.7 billion "likes" and 250 million uploaded photos everyday.
  • Zynga, the games maker behind FarmVille, single-handedly accounts for 12% of its revenues.
  • The company has 3,200 employees.
  • Lady Gaga may have the most popular page on Facebook - with 47 million "likes".
  • Facebook's ticker on the stock exchange will be "FB".


  • Mark Zuckerberg, co-founder and chief executive, has 28% of the company - 533.8 million shares - which are worth $28bn based on an overall valuation of $100bn. He is 27 years old.
  • But Mr Zuckerberg is the controlling shareholder because of proxy voting rights. All in, he controls 57% of the shares.
  • Mr Zuckerberg's base salary last year was $483,333 and, with bonus, he was paid $1.49m.
  • From 1 January 2013, Mr Zuckerberg's annual salary will go down to $1.
  • Mr Zuckerberg was memorably portrayed in the Oscar-winning movie, The Social Network. The Winklevoss twins, Tyler and Cameron, are not named in the filing after settling their legal battles with Facebook. Neither is Eduardo Saverin, his former friend and classmate.
  • Napster founder and early investor Sean Parker is mentioned - but his shareholding is not declared.
  • Sheryl Sandberg, the chief operating officer, owns 0.1% of the company. She is the best compensated director at Facebook. With her salary and stock awards, she made $30.87m last year.
  • But with her stock options and depending on the share price, she will still become one of the world's richest women. She has 38.1 million shares that have not yet vested that will do so from October.
  • David Choe, a graffiti artist, decorated Facebook's first offices and took stock instead of cash as compensation. The New York Times reports the stake could now be worth about $200m.
  • The singer Bono is also rubbing his hands. Elevation Partners, an investment firm he co-founded, spent $210m buying Facebook shares in 2009 and 2010, which could now be worth $800m.
  • Mr Zuckerberg's friend and co-founder, Dustin Moskovitz, has almost 8%, or 133.8 million shares.


  • The company has listed other social networks as possible threats - including Google's relatively-new Google+ and its older Orkut service, South Korea's Cyworld, Japan's Mixi and vKontakte in Russia.
  • Facebook has no legal presence in China - but there are already established social networks such as Tencent and Renren that locals can use.
  • Besides China, Facebook is currently restricted in Iran, North Korea and Syria.
  • The company also cited the "uncertainty" over evolving legal protections across the world on consumer privacy. It cited a revision to the European Union's privacy laws, specifically.
  • Facebook said that potential advertisers could decide not to advertise with them and instead just use a Facebook page.
  • Fame is fleeting on the internet. "A number of other social networking companies that achieved early popularity have since seen their active user bases or levels of engagement decline, in some cases precipitously," Facebook said. "There is no guarantee that we will not experience a similar erosion of our active user base or engagement levels."

HT:  BBC News

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