Facebook’s financial performance is stronger than previously estimated with revenue in 2009 possibly as high as $800m.
A report by Reuters, quoting two sources familiar with the situation, stated a combination of user and advertiser growth saw the company double its 2008 revenue and notch-up profits running into tens of millions of dollars.
The six-year-old service has been criticised in the past for failing to capitalise on its huge audience, however the tide appears to have turned with the two sources saying the firm’s revenue last year was between $700m and $800m rather than the $500m estimate given by a Facebook board member last July.
“They are downplaying their performance. There’s no upside in getting people’s expectations high, it’s always better to go low,” said one source.
Facebook is privately-owned by a number of investors including Microsoft. The company has distanced itself from talk of an imminent IPO.
The apparent success of Facebook is significant for the wider media industry, proving that there is money to be made via online social applications.
Last week AOL was forced to sell the struggling Bebo social network for in the region of $10m having purchased it for $850m two years ago.