Tell me who hasn’t heard about Facebook yet? Sure there may be some poor souls who still haven’t joined it yet, but virtually every single entity (bot or human) on the Internet has heard about it at least once. Facebook was founded in February 2004, as a closed registration website. It opened its membership to the world in September 2006, challenging the likes of Google’s Orkut and MySpace.
Facebook’s popularity grew tremendously, beating Orkut in August 2007, to become the No. 2nd Social Networking site on the planet. In April 2008, it had overtaken MySpace in terms of unique visitors every month and became the #1 social networking service on the Internet. (Source)
While founder Mark Zuckerberg had estimated about $350 million in revenues this year, VentureBeat estimate that nearly a $100 million will be due to its virtual economy. That is, the revenue generated by applications like Gifts. Mostly all the applications have now introduced their own virtual economy, in form of credits or points, all these add up to generate about a $100 million every year now… and this is still growing.
These relatively inexpensive virtual toys actually contribute to a major portion of Facebook’s revenue which also includes Social Ads. While a lot of free social networking applications are pooping up these days, Face book has proved it be a true leader when it comes to business strategy.