Facebook doubles its revenues despite rival popularity
FACEBOOK is understood to have doubled its revenues to $1.6bn (€1.13bn) in 2011's first half underscoring its appeal to advertisers while it grapples with intensifying competition from the likes of Google.
Net profit in the first half of 2011 came to almost $500m according to Reuters. Facebook does not disclose its results.
The social networking giant's stronger results come as investors have pushed its valuation to roughly $80bn in private markets, with many industry observers expecting Facebook to go public in 2012. Elevation Partners, the investment firm led by U2 lead singer Bono, has seen its $210m stake in Facebook more than quadruple in less than two years.
Its growing popularity among its advertisers and 750 million users has put pressure on entrenched web companies such as Yahoo, which ousted its chief executive Carol Bartz on Tuesday.
Search leader Google launched Google+, a rival social network in June that attracted more than 10 million users in its first two weeks. Google is trying to increase the appeal of its social network by offering games such as Zynga Poker and Rovio's Angry Birds.
Facebook earned $355m in net profit in the first nine months of 2010 on revenue of $1.2bn, according to documents that Goldman Sachs provided to clients during a share offering this year.
The company is expected to introduce new features this month such as music services from Spotify and Rhapsody.
Facebook is one of the web's most visited destinations by people who spend hours on the site every month sharing photos and videos, and conversing with friends. (Reuters)