Facebook Could Double Its Revenue in 2011

Credits gain steam

Facebook is making more money than ever. If one prediction is correct, it looks to be on track to more than double the money it made last year.

According to a new forecast from eMarketer, global revenues at the social networking site will reach $4.27 billion in 2011, up from $2 billion in 2010. Included in that massive figure is $3.8 billion in ad revenue for the year, up 104 percent from $1.86 billion in 2010, and another $470 million in revenue from Facebook Credits, up from $140 million last year.

Last year, ads represented 95 percent of Facebook’s total revenue. This year, that number has fallen to 89 percent. In January, eMarketer forecasted that Facebook would earn $4.05 billion worldwide in ad revenue this year. But the “slight revision downward for 2011 should not be taken as a sign that Facebook’s overall business is losing momentum,” said eMarketer principal analyst Debra Aho Williamson.

Meanwhile, Facebook Credits is growing as a revenue source for the social network. According to eMarketer, credits will make up 11 percent of Facebook’s total revenues in 2011, compared with 7 percent in 2010.

In light of the new 2011 forecast, eMarketer is upping its Facebook estimates for 2012. Previously, eMarketer had estimated that Facebook would earn $5.47 billion in ad revenue next year. Now, analysts are saying that Facebook will likely surpass those expectations and will earn closer to $5.78 billion from ads worldwide in 2012, including $2.01 billion in U.S. ad revenues.