Facebook, Inc. at a Glance

Uppers

  • High compensation and great benefits
  • Collaborative work environment with high autonomy
  • Off-the-charts résumé appeal

Downers

  • Long hours and a lot of overtime
  • Sink or swim culture
  • Intense working environment

The Bottom Line

  • There's a reason Facebook appears on the top of so many career fantasy wish lists: they're a great employer that only take the cream of the crop.

About Facebook, Inc.

Facebook is the face of social media, for good and bad. The social networking juggernaut, which continues to grow quickly even as it struggles with public relations and other issues, lets users share information, post photos and videos, play games, and otherwise connect with one another through online profiles. The site, which allows outside developers to build apps that integrate with Facebook, boasts more than two billion monthly active users. In addition to its namesake platform, Facebook owns Instagram (photo/video sharing), Messenger and WhatsApp (instant messaging and payments services), and Oculus (virtual reality technology and content). The company generates revenue through advertising; the US accounts for about 45% of total sales.

Operations

In addition to the more than 2 billion monthly Facebook users, WhatsApp and Messenger together claim nearly 3 billion monthly users and Instagram counts about 800 million monthly users.

Beyond these offerings, the company has investments in longer-term technology initiatives such as artificial intelligence, augmented and virtual reality, and connectivity efforts. 

Geographic Reach

Global in its reach, Facebook generates about 55% of its revenue from outside of the US. The majority of its international business comes from customers located in western Europe, Australia, Brazil, Canada, and China.

The company has offices and data center facilities located all over the world.

Sales and Marketing

Facebook uses a global sales force in more than 40 offices worldwide to attract and retain advertisers (advertising accounts for nearly all of revenue). It also serves advertising customers through a self-service ad platform. 

Users have generally found the site through word-of-mouth, as well as internal marketing efforts. Facebook spent $324 million on its own advertising and promotional expenses during 2017, compared to $310 million and $281 million in 2016 and 2015, respectively.

Financial Performance

Facebook has experienced exponential growth over the past few years, enabling it to dominate the social networking world as the most trafficked site of its kind in the US.  Its revenue has grown from nearly $8 billion to more than $40 billion since 2013 while its net income has grown from $1.5 billion to $16 billion. 

In 2017 the company reported revenue of $40.6 billion, up nearly 50% from the prior year. Monthly active users grew nearly 15% and the average price per ad increased by about 30%. 

Net income that year hit $16 billion, up 55% year-over-year, on the jump in revenue. 

Cash at the end of 2017 was $8 billion, a decrease of $824 million from the prior year. Cash from operations contributed $24 billion to the coffers, while investing activities used $20 billion, mainly for purchases of marketable securities. Financing activities used another $5 billion for stock repurchase and taxes related to net share settlement of equity awards.

Strategy

Facebook owes the bulk of its growth to its ability to lure more and more visitors to its site and keeping them engaged. As a result, the growth in Facebook's advertising business, driven by mobile ads customized for individuals, has been staggering. The company will continue to invest in and expand its service offerings in an effort to keep growth strong as it grapples with both internal and external issues, including new data protections in Europe, which have driven away some 1 million users.

India is a particular region of interest for Facebook where in early 2018 it successfully tested a beta version of its WhatsApp payments feature. The company is also rolling out new video features (including live video) and original video content through Facebook Watch and continues to improve and enhance its Oculus virtual reality hardware and software.

The company, however, has had to pivot in recent months to focus more on privacy and security. It has suffered through several years of negative press since it was discovered that the Facebook News Feed included fake user accounts and millions of fraudulent stories meant to impact the 2016 US election cycle. In addition, an outside researcher was able to collect and use for political purposes data on as many as 87 million users without Facebook's permission. The company is under investigation by several government agencies and has been criticized for its slow response to the issues. Debate continues over how Facebook should handle misinformation on its platform.

The change in strategy is already having an impact, at least financially. In Q2 2018 the company said that security investments, among other initiatives, will impact the company's profitability; that, combined with slower than expected growth in Q2 (and similar predictions for Q3 and Q4) wiped out some $150 billion in Facebook's market value as its stock suffered its biggest one-day drop. 

Company Background

The firm was launched in 2004 by Harvard student Mark Zuckerberg as an online version of the Harvard Facebook. (The name comes from books of freshmen's faces, majors, and hometowns that are distributed to students.) In 2012 Facebook began publicly trading after filing one of the largest IPOs in US history.

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Facebook, Inc.

1601 Willow Rd
Menlo Park, CA 94025-1456
Phone: 1 (650) 543-4800

Stats

  • Employer Type: Public
  • Stock Symbol: FB
  • Stock Exchange: NASDAQ
  • Chairman and CEO: Mark Zuckerberg
  • CFO: David M. Wehner
  • Chairman and CEO: Mark Zuckerberg
  • 2017 Employees: 25,105

Major Office Locations

  • Menlo Park, CA

Other Locations

  • Palo Alto, CA
  • Santa Clara, CA
  • Washington, DC
  • Atlanta, GA
  • Chicago, IL
  • Birmingham, MI
  • Forest City, NC
  • New York, NY
  • Austin, TX
  • Dallas, TX
  • Seattle, WA
  • Hyderabad, India
  • Bulandet, Norway
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