Facebook is on fire.
Global revenue for the world's most trafficked social platform will hit $4.27 billion this year, up from $2 billion last year, according to a forecast issued today by digital market research company eMarketer.
Facebook is also on track to pull in $3.8 billion from advertising worldwide, that's up 104 percent compared to last year's $1.86 billion. While brand advertising remains a primary revenue stream, analysts at eMarketer and elsewhere anticipate advertising revenue to decline as the company continues diversifying its model.
For example, advertising represented 95 percent of Facebook's total revenue in 2009, whereas this year it will drop to 89 percent. "This slight revision downward for 2011 should not be taken as a sign that Facebook's overall business is losing momentum," according to Debra Aho Williamson, a principal analyst at eMarketer.
Facebook Credits, meanwhile, is one revenue stream that's becoming increasingly important to Facebook's future, according to Williamson. Credits, a virtual currency for games, is expected to reach $470 million this year, or 11 percent of total revenue, up from $140 million in 2010. Credits are a key part of the Facebook platform, where major businesses like social-gaming giant Zynga have been built. Facebook takes a 30 percent cut of every in-app transaction conducted on its platform. … Read more