Next Stop For Facebook: 2 Billion Users?

Facebook Inc.’s Instagram is estimated to be worth more than US$100 billion, if it were a stand-alone company, marking a 100-fold return for the app was purchased in 2012, according to data compiled by Bloomberg Intelligence.

The photo-sharing platform, which reached 1 billion monthly active users earlier this month, will likely help nudge Instagram revenue past US$10 billion over the next 12 months, Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Jitendra Waral wrote in a report Monday. Instagram is attracting new users faster than Facebook’s main site and is on track to exceed 2 billion users within the next five years, Waral said. While the social network already has surpassed that milestone, Instagram’s audience is younger than its parent, making it more attractive to advertisers. And unlike Facebook, Instagram is still growing in the U.S.

Instagram could account for about 16 per cent of Facebook’s revenue over the next year, up from 10.6 per cent last year, according to eMarketer data cited by Bloomberg Intelligence. The unit announced the addition of Instagram television, or IGTV, last week as an attempt to catalyze future growth. Most of Instagram’s 2018 revenue growth will still likely come from its newsfeed ads, as the TV platform is still developing, Waral said.

Facebook shares slipped 3.7 per cent to US$194.23 at 2:12 p.m. in New York, as the broader market also declined. The stock has gained 10 per cent so far this year, compared with a 1.5 per cent gain in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index.


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