29
+86%
14,349 $m

Facebook is probably the first brand that comes to mind for most consumers when they hear the term "social media," and given the well documented increase in its fortunes, it should be no surprise that it's the top rising brand in our ranking this year-with a staggering value increase of 86 percent. Even though Facebook's user base growth has slowed down, innovations in ad format and delivery, and of course, its success in unlocking mobile revenue, have accelerated the company's growth.

But it has not all been smooth sailing. In response to issues around the Facebook phone and its privacy policy, CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, slightly modified the company's well-known mantra "move fast and break things" to "move fast with stable infra." While the brand's previous approach was to develop things quickly, put them out to market, and "see what happens," now Facebook, clearly learning as it goes, is working harder to make sure it is getting things right, fixing bugs faster, and building better experiences for its many users. 

Nonetheless, an ethos that embraces both disruption and progress has helped Facebook to become one of the best companies to work for and is reflected in its latest acquisitions. While WhatsApp was an important acquisition in terms of improving its global instant messaging business, it is the acquisition of Oculus VR (the manufacturer of a virtual reality headset) that has the potential to revolutionize Facebook. The company is bracing itself-and the world-for this next era of social media and content consumption, and is already talking to studios like Fox to provide content specifically for the Oculus Rift headset. 

In terms of growth, mobile remains a key strategic focus. According to Zuckerberg, the brand has 1 billion monthly active users on mobile, and mobile advertising (as reported on Mashable), now makes up 59 percent of Facebook's total ad revenue, up from 30 percent just one year ago. Facebook has also been continuously working to optimize its ads to make them more relevant for marketers. By shifting from banner form advertisements to news-feed based ads, Facebook is driving higher engagement and able to command higher pricing as a result-in the first quarter of 2014, the brand saw 82 percent growth in its ad revenue. Facebook also has a tremendous opportunity to improve monetization in international markets, especially in populous regions where more people are getting online.  

When Facebook launched 10 years ago, it defined the social media space. It continues to live up to its mission "to give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected" and is currently building the groundwork to once again redefine human interaction. From addressing internet access through its free Wi-Fi pilot program in North Carolina to establishing a stronger position in markets like China and India, Facebook knows that getting more people online, and connecting them with the brand all over the world, is key to its increasing influence. The next few years, however, are pivotal for Facebook in terms of expanding its global presence, improving the user experience, mastering mobile, and taking content consumption in bold new directions. Of all the social media brands in existence, this one has more potential than most to become a guiding force in the Age of You.

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