Facebook will generate $500 million in revenue in 2009, says Netscape founder Marc Andreessen, who serves on the social networking site's board. With its growing base of 225 million users, Facebook has publicly suggested that its primary focus will be on expanding its community as opposed to figuring out the most ideal models for revenue generation. Andreessen also says he believes that Facebook has the potential to generate billions of dollars in revenue in coming years.
Facebook will generate about $500 million in revenue in 2009, on its way to
earning billions, entrepreneur and Netscape founder Marc Andreessen said in a
July 6 interview with Reuters.
"This calendar year they'll do over $500 million," Andreessen told
the wire service. "There's every reason to expect in my view that the
thing can be doing billions in revenue five years from now."
Andreessen said although he sits on Facebook's board he is not an investor
in the social networking site, which has approximately 225 million users.
Facebook itself has not been in the habit of disclosing its revenue, although
it has accepted substantial investment from Microsoft and other sources.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has
suggested that growth
is a larger priority for Facebook than figuring out an optimum model for
Andreessen has revealed he has invested in Twitter, which plans to generate
revenue through tools and business services. Twitter
co-founder Biz Stone has publicly suggested that advertising will not be the
primary focus for the social networking site,
which lets its community post
140-character "tweets" about their activities.
Facebook has been moving to make its existence more central to both the Web
and its users' lives.
For example, Facebook
announced on July 1 it would simplify and standardize its privacy settings,
even as the site moved to make its users' profiles more searchable over the
Web. The site's six privacy pages and 40 settings will be collected onto a
single page, preventing users from unintentionally activating or declining
certain access options with regard to their status updates, photo albums and
links, the company said.
"We found that too many privacy options may result in users not really
appreciating what content they're sharing and with whom," Chris Kelly,
chief privacy officer for Facebook, said during a July 1 news conference about
Despite their professed attention to the needs of the community, however,
Facebook has also faced periodic uproar this year from users over issues
ranging from its homepage
to whether the site can retain ownership of users' photos
Recognizing the site's popularity-particularly within the workplace-IT
companies such as Omniture have designed applications or sites that utilize
Facebook within an enterprise context.