Facebook began in 2004. It's a well-known social networking service which has land grabs at least 850 million users since it began. If you don't already know, individuals and businesses can signup and create a free profile. You can then upload pictures, as well as contact information and personal information. Famously started by Harvard entrepreneur Mark Zukerberg, the business was floated in 2012. Would you like a lesson on SWOT analysis?
Facebook has far more than 850 active, regular users. The main benefit of Facebook is that it the brand name that is synonymous with social networking. It's done a similar thing to Apple and Google in that it's become a premier brand for a new technology. There is no real competitor to Facebook.
Whilst Facebook has plenty of regular traffic, some would argue that it is becoming mature and that it has acquired most of its potential customer base already.
Since Facebook is free there is no income stream from subscriptions. Competitors such as LinkedIn does have a subscription approach.
Some would say that having such a young group of entrepreneurs run a large global business is a potential risk. The market likes to see CEOs over 40.
Facebook currently generates revenue through advertising, either CPC or CPM. There is the opportunity to extend this as the business grows.
New product development with programs such as the new timeline will potentially provide loyal users.
The expansion of the number of home PCs and mobile devices, such as cellphones, gives Facebook the opportunity to extend its number of users, as well as the amount of usage that they have.
In terms of potential threats to Facebook, there are many other advertising alternatives out there. Some potential advertiser might consider using Google and their Adwords program, or they might decide to use any other media alternative such as good old-fashioned newspaper advertising. The competitive advantage of advertising on Facebook needs to be clearer to the business owner.
As is often reported Facebook is having a similar history to MySpace. MySpace famously became the premier place to network socially online. Then it became unfashionable and its market share was eroded by businesses such as Facebook only once it had been sold. So there is an element of uncertainty about Facebook and whether it can maintain its fabulous growth into the future.