Facebook: 300 Million Monthly Active Users, “Free Cash Flow Positive”

By Eric Eldon Comment

Facebook has just announced it has reached 300 million monthly active users around the world. The company has added 50 million users in just the 75 days, that’s 670,000 users per day. In mid-July, Facebook announced that it had reached 250 million.


Facebook’s global audience has doubled since the beginning of the year, adding 150 million new users since January. Notably, over 71% of Facebook’s userbase resides outside the United States – as of today, the company reports 85 million active American users.

Perhaps even more impressive is that the company also says it is now “free cash flow positive.” From the company blog post on the news, from founder Mark Zuckerberg:

We’re also succeeding at building Facebook in a sustainable way. Earlier this year, we said we expected to be cash flow positive sometime in 2010, and I’m pleased to share that we achieved this milestone last quarter. This is important to us because it sets Facebook up to be a strong independent service for the long term.

For those not familiar, “free cash flow” means the amount of cash that a company generates after budgeting costs required to maintain and expand itself.

Earlier this year, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that the company is expecting to see “70% growth in revenue year over year” in 2009 and that Facebook will be “cash flow positive in 2010.″ Facebook board member Marc Andreessen also recently said Facebook would do $500 million in revenues in 2009, up from an estimated $280-$300 million in 2008.

What’s driving Facebook’s revenue growth? A combination of revenue streams: Facebook’s self-service ad business has been very strong lately, it continues to invest heavily in brand advertising efforts, and it also continues to release many experimental expansions to its virtual goods and virtual currency business, Facebook Credits. The company is also still deriving revenue from its advertising deal with Microsoft, signed when Microsoft invested in Facebook in 2007.

Update: So what sort of revenue growth has Facebook actually seen? We asked company executive Elliot Schrage: He couldn’t comment on what exactly was growing revenue, nor could he comment on the company’s overall financial numbers today. We don’t expect the company to say much more this year.