Advertising on Facebook is big business. Look no further than its Q1 2016 earnings announcement, which blew past analyst expectations. Facebook’s results were even more striking amid disappointing reports from Alphabet/Google, Apple and Microsoft.
Alphabet’s Google and Facebook are widely regarded as the two most valuable digital advertising businesses in the world. Comparing the revenues each generates requires a bit of perspective, though, because Alphabet/Google went public eight years prior to Facebook’s IPO. Not surprisingly, Alphabet makes a lot more money than Facebook – $20.26 billion vs. $5.38 billion in their most recent quarters.
When we correct for their relative ages, though, we see that they are awfully similar. Here’s a graph that shows their gross revenues after each had completed 15 quarters as a publicly traded company. Their quarterly performance is eerily similar.
The takeaway: Facebook and its identity-based advertising built on a programmatic platform is right where Google’s search engine marketing machine was at the same age. Projecting this forward, it’s easy to imagine that Facebook will become everything Google has become for users and advertisers alike.