Facebook revenues could hit $2bn in 2010

Facebook is showing its juggernaut potential according to a piece in the Wall Street Journal which says revenues could hit as much as $2bn in 2010.

The long piece in the WSJ projects revenues in the range of $1.2 to $2bn. This is even more than the blog Inside Facebook was reporting. Earlier this week it had said “sources estimate the company could make between $1 billion and $1.1 billion in total revenue this year”.

 To put that in perspective Facebook made as much as $300m in 2008 and as much as $700m in 2009. There is a doubling affect taking place that can in part be put down to the growing success of its advertising programme that is seeing as many as 10 million users a day become brand fans and its new payments system that is predicted to make revenues of between $125m and $250m this year.

Those are big revenue numbers. Any of them. They are as big as the growing user numbers that have seen Facebook power past 400 million users and 100 million mobile users.

What does that all mean though? One thing it could immediately spell is that any IPO could be delayed. The 25-year old CEO Mark Zuckerberg clearly does not want to rush towards a corporate Nasdaq SEC like future. Clearly he is not all about the pay day.

He is quoted by the WSJ as saying: “We’re going to go public eventually, because that’s the contract that we have with our investors and our employees… we are definitely in no rush.”

With such large revenues on the horizon he clearly wants to hold off and grow Facebook as much as possible to increase his hand and that of his key staff when they do float the company.

The mention of the investors is interesting. It is clearly an issue. Facebook is founded on venture capital money and they will want their return. VC is not about philanthropy.

The Journal piece highlights how Zuckerberg is still very much involved and concerned with the strategic long term direction of Facebook. It calls him a “micromanager” and says he has cut down on his meeting (delegated to senior-level staffers) so he can think about Facebook’s broader strategic game plan.

He has already said in part what that game plan is: one billion users. That is another big number, but the speed it is adding users it could be there sooner rather than later. It took it six months to get it the 100 million users it needed to growth from 250 million to 350 million, but only two months to add another 50 million. That raises the prospect of Facebook of hitting 500 million users by June.