Hello,

We noticed you're browsing in private or incognito mode.

To continue reading this article, please exit incognito mode or log in.

Not a subscriber? Subscribe now for unlimited access to online articles.

Jessica Leber

A View from Jessica Leber

Will Facebook Make as Much From its Next Billion Users?

The company marked one billion accounts today, but revenue from future users in emerging markets is less certain.

  • October 4, 2012

Facebook’s next one billion users, should it reach that mark, will use the site quite differently than its first billion–a milestone the company celebrated today

Many will join Facebook from emerging markets such as Brazil, India, and Indonesia, which have been among the company’s fastest-growing countries in the past few months. They will access the social network primarily from their phones, as mobile Internet access grows in Africa and Asia. Maybe they will come from China, should CEO Mark Zuckerberg successfully devise a “long-term” strategy for Facebook to enter that giant market, where it is currently blocked (a Businessweek interview with Zuckerberg addresses this today). 

These growth trends highlight the importance of Facebook’s quest to bring in more revenue for each of its existing users. If the company is struggling to please investors now with its per-user revenue (see “Facebook’s Earnings Report Underscores Its Challenges”), it will have to make major changes as it expands in countries where online advertising and commerce are less developed markets, and where mobile devices–an area in which Facebook is already struggling to bring in revenue–represent the population’s primary way of getting online. 

Facebook will hold its second-ever earnings call with investors on October 23, reporting how it did in the July-September period. So while today is a well-deserved moment for the company to celebrate its remarkable growth over the last eight years, I suspect in another two weeks we’ll have some better data points about how it handle its march toward two billion users. 

Cut off? Read unlimited articles today.

Become an Insider
Already an Insider? Log in.
More from Business Impact

How technology advances are changing the economy and providing new opportunities in many industries.

Want more award-winning journalism? Subscribe to MIT Technology Review.
  • Print + All Access Digital {! insider.prices.print_digital !}* Best Value

    {! insider.display.menuOptionsLabel !}

    The best of MIT Technology Review in print and online, plus unlimited access to our online archive, an ad-free web experience, discounts to MIT Technology Review events, and The Download delivered to your email in-box each weekday.

    See details+

    12-month subscription

    Unlimited access to all our daily online news and feature stories

    6 bi-monthly issues of print + digital magazine

    10% discount to MIT Technology Review events

    Access to entire PDF magazine archive dating back to 1899

    Ad-free website experience

    The Download: newsletter delivery each weekday to your inbox

    The MIT Technology Review App

  • All Access Digital {! insider.prices.digital !}*

    {! insider.display.menuOptionsLabel !}

    The digital magazine, plus unlimited site access, our online archive, and The Download delivered to your email in-box each weekday.

    See details+

    12-month subscription

    Unlimited access to all our daily online news and feature stories

    Digital magazine (6 bi-monthly issues)

    Access to entire PDF magazine archive dating back to 1899

    The Download: newsletter delivery each weekday to your inbox

  • Print Subscription {! insider.prices.print_only !}*

    {! insider.display.menuOptionsLabel !}

    Six print issues per year plus The Download delivered to your email in-box each weekday.

    See details+

    12-month subscription

    Print magazine (6 bi-monthly issues)

    The Download: newsletter delivery each weekday to your inbox

/3
You've read of three free articles this month. for unlimited online access. You've read of three free articles this month. for unlimited online access. This is your last free article this month. for unlimited online access. You've read all your free articles this month. for unlimited online access. You've read of three free articles this month. for more, or for unlimited online access. for two more free articles, or for unlimited online access.