Facebook’s valuation is now past the $200 billion mark for the first time on Monday. The company ranks 22 among large companies in the world, taking less time than Google to reach the promising figure since going public.
The giant social network’s worth is now more than the worth of Bank of America, Coca-Cola, and Toyota, and has surpassed the valuation of older tech companies including Oracle, IBM, and Intel. Facebook is now at the same ranking with HSBC.
This milestone came at a time the company has revealed increasing momentum in its video feature, offering publishers more tools like a YouTube-style view count as it pursues a more effective stream of advertising revenue.
Facebook’s main app is consistently the most popular for all variety of smartphones. Wall Street investors see the company as a way to go into the growth of mobiles without the need to bet on the makers of the devices like Apple or Samsung, which is riskier.
This year’s stock market can also attribute to the leadership of Facebook’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, who doesn’t mind spending billions to acquire any start-up that he deems can pose a threat to undermine his company’s leadership in social media. This has already led to the acquisition of Instagram and WhatsApp Messenger.
Perhaps Zuckerberg’s strategy of dividing Facebook into a portfolio of apps has won over investors but it still needs to convince its users as tens of thousands of them have shown their dismay at the company’s recent decision, which is to deploy the messaging function out from its main mobile app.
Zuckerberg’s company’s share rose 0.8 per cent on Monday and closed at $77.89, which gives it a market capitalisation of $200.9 billion. That makes Facebook worth half of Google, which closed up 0.6 per cent at $601.53, giving it a market capitalisation of $400.4 billion.
These two tech companies have a fierce rivalry on online advertising and are competing for the title of the most popular destination in the internet, across an array of opposing apps and services that range from photo and video sharing to search. For the past two years, the two companies adapt their advertising businesses for mobile phones as consumers have paid more attention to apps over the web.
Since Google’s IPO in 2004, its valuation has not been consistent – from reaching the $200bn mark in 2007 to falling back sharply in 2008 – and even when it recovered in 2009, it has not risen higher until mid-2012.
In the most recent quarters, Google’s revenues were more than four times bigger than Facebook’s. However, at a rate of 61 per cent, Facebook is growing more than twice as fast. Over the past two years, Google’s value has increased by 75 per cent while Facebook’s valuation has increased by more than 330 per cent.
Facebook has also continued to grow its user base outside the US as it announced today that it has now reached 100 million users in Africa, which, still according to the company, is half the total number of internet-connected people in the continent.