Facebook could pull in $2 billion of revenue this year, better than previous projections, according to three different conversations that Bloomberg BusinessWeek had off the record.
Ad sales may more than double this year compared to last year’s. That certainly jibes with the growth in users of the site, given how the 600 million mark appears imminent.
The company previously expected revenues of $1.5 billion in 2010, double the roughly $750 million that came in during 2009. But if this year’s take comes in higher than previously expected, Facebook will have hit the $2 billion mark faster than Yahoo and at almost the same pace as Google.
Yahoo reached that revenue milestone in its ninth year, while Google did it roughly between years five and six. Facebook got started in 2004.
Facebook has been gaining market share in display ads, and may have 9.4 percent of it in the U.S. this year, compared to 6.6 percent last year, based on estimates from EMarketer Inc.
You might already know that that this type of ad isn’t synonymous with search ads, which gives context to the following comparisons.
Yahoo will have dropped to 16.2 percent of the display ad market this year, from 16.5 percent in 2009. Google may close the year with 6.7 percent of the display ad market, up from 4.7 percent in 2009, according to EMarketer.
These statistics might not explain the increase in Facebook’s revenues for the year, assuming that whatever Bloomberg heard off the record bears fruit. The social network may be employing a tactic more common among publicly held companies: Set lower expectations of revenues or earnings so that you can beat them and then impress investors. This might make more sense given how hot the company’s shares are on SecondMarket.
Readers, what do you make of the news that revenues may exceed previous expectations?