Thursday, November 06, 2008

TTD: Facebook’s Zuckerberg: We Don’t Need More Money; No Near-Term IPO Plans; Staff Tops 700; They’re Still Hiring

That according to CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who spoke this afternoon at the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco. He’s being interviewed by John Battelle. Here are some bullet points of some the other things he said; I will be updating along the way.

We have two very strong revenue lines; direct and online sales. On the direct side, work with two-thirds of the top 100 brands in the U.S.
They have been opening more international offices.
They have 1000s of online advertisers now.
Both revenue arms are strong and growing quickly; revenue is in the hundreds of millions.
Revenue from its Microsoft deal is a smaller percentage of revenue than the other two pieces, and is shrinking on a relative basis over time.
On the MSFT deal, John asked if MSFT was happy with the price they paid; Zuckerberg says that the deal was about more than just an investment. He says they got favorable terms.
Still not planning to go public for a few years; that would be true, even if the IPO market were not shut down by the macro economy.
They have a little more than 700 people in the company, and are continuing to hire; expanding both technical staff and sales people. There is no hiring freeze at Facebook. (Unlike a lot of other places in the Valley.)
On Facebook Connect: They had closed beta, but they are working toward more fully open version.
Over time, open platforms win out. He points to Windows as an example. The challenge is to bring people along the path. Bring people on to Facebook. Make them comfortable providing personal information online. Clear trend towards that. Realized they could not build all the ways people would want to share information. Net iteration of platform is Facebook Connect. Build your own site with the same integration with the original Facebook platform. Make it easier for people to share their information.
Battelle is making the case that the Facebook platform is not that robust. Zuckerberg says they have gone through a number of iterations of the site. With Facebook Connect, people can use their Facebook identity to any other site. It inherently makes a site social.
On making money on Facebook Connect: Not direct monetization, but it does drive more use of Facebook; we make money depending on how people use the site.
On Twitter: They are doing very good stuff, they are doing something very good. Battelle wonders if they are just a feature of Facebook. Twitter is a partner for Facebook Connect.
On advertisers: Still really early. Last November launched the online channel. Advertising on the Web is about a two-way or multi-way dialog.
On Facebook being banned by offices: We’ve seen anecdotally a trend in the other direction, with moving in the direction of allowing use of Facebook at work.
He says today, FB is not an enterprise company; but he thinks someone will eventually build something “really good” in this space.”

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Good talent pool from Yahoo coming to Facebook I am hearing...

sam said...

there’s no denying that Facebook continues to enjoy incredible popularity worldwide—but that could be part of the problem. Facebook’s worldwide growth has been strong over the last year, with 118% growth in monthly unique visitors and 74% growth in page views. But its US growth hasn’t been as impressive, up only 32% from 31 million to 41 million.

as most of Facebook’s growth is outside the US, you’d expect that most of their revenue comes from advertisers targeting international audiences, as well. But that’s not the case. As TechCrunch pointed out months ago, many, many countries generate little to no advertising revenue per user. And that’s just the beginning of growth woes...