Facebook Passes the Billion User Mark, But Where Will Revenue Growth Come From?

2 minute read
Chris Knight avatar


User growth will come from new territories as the social media giant continues to eat up users' time and Likes, with almost half of all North Americans using the Facebook service to keep in touch online. But where will it see new revenue growth?

All Around the World

While the stock price might be on the way down, the user numbers are going up and up for Facebook. With almost 45% of North Americans and Australasians now on board, a third of South America, nearly as many in Europe with only Africa and Asia lagging behind in single figures. That led the company over the 1 billion mark, which he discussed in an interview on NBC

They are the key growth markets for the company, and it will be aiming aggressively at signing them up. Of the existing users, over 600 million now use Facebook on a smartphone or other mobile device, up from 552 million users measured in June this year.

Mobile will be key in emerging markets where they are more common than computers. Facebook is trying to adapt the service to the feature phones prevalent in Africa but will need to use marketing muscle in China and Russia where local services dominate. 

On the Face Of It

Facebook recently broke into the physical gifts market in an attempt to move on from the virtual gifts that helped boost its early growth. With long-time revenue partner Zynga also suffering, it will also be looking for the next big thing in revenue generation, with better targeted advertising already on the radar.

Learning Opportunities

Gambling could  become one natural focus, with real money gambling having started in the United Kingdom via a Bingo game, and virtual sports betting being trialled in America. These and other initiatives should see revenue rising to keep the stock holders happy.

However, it may face more defections from users over the latest claim on weak privacy with private messages claimed to be publicly visible. Similarly, further attempts to monetize the service's vast user database could lead to collisions with irate users suffering growing "intrusion" into their News Feeds. 

While still in a very strong position, and dominating the social media scene, Facebook still has plenty of time to find its feet as a traded company, but every move and misstep will come under increasing focus and scrutiny.