Facebook’s recent growth moves the likelihood of an IPO as early as spring 2012, as the social network giant is well on track to exceed a whopping $2 billion in earnings (before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, or “Ebitda” as Wall Street calls it) in 2011.
That’s right. Two. Billion. Dollars.
According to The Wall Street Journal, the world’s predominant social media brand is making a case to push for a valuation of $100 billion or more when it finally goes public, which will (likely) now happen sooner rather than later, making it one of the largest tech companies ever, well ahead of Cisco and Amazon.[more]
Further sweetening the post: Facebook ad revenue in 2011 is projected to reach $4.05 billion, up from $1.86 billion last year, according to Emarketer.
The first quarter of this year saw 31% of all online US display ads on Facebook, twice the amount from 2010, according to comScore figures cited by WSJ. Facebook has also moved aggressively into new areas of non-advertising revenue including expanding its local deals to the US to take on Groupon, and pushing FB Credits as the site’s internal payment system, for which it takes in a handy 30% commission.
Beyond the US, Facebook has become the second most visited website in Africa, according to Alexa, with Asia a close second.
User numbers doubled since last December, Egypt leading the charge at 6.8 million and 8.5% penetration, followed by South Africa, Morocco and Nigeria with 3.7 million, 3.3 million and 3.0 million users respectively.
Facebook has focused heavily on mobile subscriptions as an adoption strategy in Africa. “We know mobile is an important tool to drive engagement and in developing countries we start with mobile,” comments FB’s head of international business development, Christian Hernandez.
There’s still room for ample growth, as the continent’s overall penetration rate is still relatively low.
Another sign of Facebook’s rising dominanace: the social giant has overtaken Google as the leading social log-in site (for retail, media and music sites) according to Janrain, a social web tracking company. Janrain reports in that just in the first quarter of 2011, 35% of web users signed on via FB compared with 31% for Google. Twitter and Yahoo lagged far behind.