Above: Facebook’s employees hard at work in the open working conditions
As an Industry Analyst my role is to identify trends, market forecasts and publish my findings in research reports. As such, Industry Analysts are different than Financial Analysts, which I’m not. While I cite where I’ve found the data in the comments, I can’t ascertain the accuracy of some of these sometimes 3rd party data sources. Note that the 2012 revenues are reported at a different time from the employee headcount was likely reported (Q1, 2013) The following is not to be considered for investment purposes.
With that caveat behind us, the following analysis takes into consideration the following consumer and public facing consumer social networks. To see enterprise class and business social business software vendors, see my additional posts on VCs and investing. While many of these startups did not have public available data, I conduct a breakdown of these startups:
Automattic (WordPress), Branch, Digg, Facebook, Foursquare, Gowalla, Groupon, Instagram, LinkedIn, LivingSocial, Pinterest, Reddit, Snapchat, Tumblr, Twitter, Yelp, and Zynga. Here’s what I found:
2012 Revenue Per Employee
Comparing both revenue per employee, rate, we found some amazing efficiencies, in particular with Facebook, Zynga, and WordPress. Here’s a data table comparing the 2012 reported revenue over employee headcount, found from online public data.
|Company||2012 Reported Revenues||Employees||Revenue Per Employee|
|Nasdaq 100: See how other companies fare||Varies||Varies||Varies|
Update: There are many comments coming in about Foursquare revenue, please see comment section, there is additional insights on fundraising, and their focus.
Facebook shows highest revenue per employee
As reported by public available data, Automattic, Zynga, Twitter, and Facebook are all making over $300k per employee, with tech salaries often ranging in 100k range, with additional costs, 300k is a benchmark number for revenue per employee that I often look for. For comparison, Facebook is pushing over $1m per employee, compared to Google (50b revenue for 53k reported employees) is about the same, at $946k per employee. While WordPress team has a modest $45m their internal revenue per employee stands toe to toe with the big dogs.
Overall industry revenues in billions of dollars
Of these consumer social network, only eight had publically available revenue run rates for 2013, on average, they’re forecasting $3.7b. In total, they’re estimating revenues of $8.3b. Last year, in 2012, ten of the consumer social network sites had publicly available revenues, which amount of $10.7 billion global revenues, averaged across the ten is $1.7b.
Some social networks boast rapid climb in revenues
These startups saw a rapid climb in revenues, on average these companies started in 2006, just seven years ago. There were some startling accelerations in revenues, with Facebook achieving $5b in revenues in 8 years, reported by 2012 public revenues. While under business model scrutiny and executive change-up, Groupon started in 2008 and achieved $2.3b in revenues in four years reported in 2012. Even with this acceleration, Facebook is still far behind Google, which boasts revenues of $50b in 13 years since inception.
Not all startups created equal, some have modest revenues
Many companies are no where near the $1b annual mark, in fact, several players are not on a growth trajectory. Of the lower revenue performers of the group includes: Foursquare, (a low yield of $2m in revenues 2012), Tumblr blogging software ($13m revenues in 2012), and long time Automattic, the makers of WordPress ($45m revenues in 2012).
Industry workforce, over 28k professionals
We can’t look at revenues alone, as these numbers don’t take costs into accounts, and found that LivingSocial employs 4,500, and surprisingly, Groupon employs a whopping 10,000 employees. All together, across these 17 consumer social networks, they employed 28,177 professionals. Obviously, this number doesn’t take into account 3rd party software like social media management systems (SMMS) and digital agencies, consultants, and of course, industry analyst firms.
Coming Soon: Who made returns? Meet the VCs and Investors of the Consumer Social Networks
(creative commons usage of image by Jakob Steinschaden)
54 Replies to “Social Networks by Revenue and Employees, Facebook Stands Above All”
A stunning indictment of local if I’ve ever seen it, as it currently stands.
Here’s my data sources, as promised
2012 Revenue Sources
Employee Headcount Data Sources
Check revenue number in table for FourSquare – s/b 2,000,000?
More data on Foursquare
Not focused on generating revenue:
“It’s important to note that Foursquare hasn’t tried until recently to really generate revenue. The $2 million sounds like it has largely been generated by a feature Foursquare launched over the summer called Promoted Updates.”
I had a typo, corrected. FourSquare made 2m in 2012, says online sources.
What Wow’d you Stephen?
And more conversation on Foursquare here http://www.facebook.com/smcginnis/posts/351223314998316?comment_id=1633822&ref=notif¬if_t=mentions_comment
Any insight as to what % of this revenue is ads versus subscriptions or other services?
Zynga beat Twitter O_O
Stu. The data which we found doesn’t cleanly, or consistently parse out revenues per product stream. Public facing companies do list out in their earnings reports how the revenue was parsed out. I didn’t structure the data capture process to segment by specific revenues.
Great findings. It would be great to know how companies make sure that all their employees add value to their business.
That’s a challenge as many roles are not easily measured as direct revenue generating (sales or product development)
Location checkin and local context recommendations are a commodity feature found in nearly all social networks. It’s no longer unique, with low barriers to entry.
Jeremiah, Epic report.
Guess that puts Tootzie at about number 101… LOL
I found this PDF of Facebook’s earnings which breaksdown their revenue per users by segments, revenue type, and even by regions
Here’s the PDF that TC sourced http://files.shareholder.com/downloads/AMDA-NJ5DZ/2297890522x0x631721/fc91bd68-c60f-46c0-b3d4-f26455e115f7/FB_Q412_InvestorDeck.pdf
Nice job, Jeremiah! I would be missing FriendFinder among US companies. Its revenues were $321 M in 2012. Among international companies, I would include Xing (95 M) and several Chinese companies, such as Tencent (4,500 M).
The article confirms that the Facebook beat the rest of the social networking sites. The confirmations shows the number of followers are in large number for Facebook.
Comments are closed.