5,421 $m
Social media giant, Facebook, is a newcomer to our Best Global Brands report, after a momentous but rocky start to its public life. Facebook’s IPO in May broke trading volume records, was the third largest IPO in US history, and the seventh largest globally. That said, as of our print date (September 2012), the stock price was worth half of the original IPO price and is continuing to drop.

The controversy, however, hasn’t slowed the explosion of people joining the vast social network. With almost a billion people on Facebook globally, the negative activity around the IPO doesn’t appear to have affected the brand’s phenomenal growth, especially in developing markets. Its slowing growth in traditional markets is a real concern. Facebook’s historic role in the Arab Spring also proves that the brand is delivering on its mission statement: “Giving people the power to share and make the world more open and connected.”

The forthcoming year, however, poses some major hurdles for Facebook. The migration of users to its mobile platform is surging by 67% year-on-year, a good sign that Facebook remains relevant. The migration to mobile has resulted in one-third of Facebook users spending less time on the traditional site than they were just six months ago. Facebook must determine how to make mobile profitable very soon and without alienating users. But, if there’s a service that can combine relevant content with an ad model, Facebook seems more than up for the challenge.