According to analysis by Jeremiah Owyang, Facebook generated $1,101,753 per employee in 2012.
Reported revenue for Facebook in 2012 was $5,089,000,000, and publicly available data about Facebook employees puts the headcount at 4,619. Owyang says that’s slightly higher than what Google earned per employee. Google earned $50 billion for 53,000 employees for a total of $946,000 per employee.
If Facebook makes so much per employee, why is there so much pressure from the press and Wall Street on the social network to increase revenue?
Facebook has a billion registered users so $5 in revenue is only $5 per user. It seems that Wall Street wants Facebook to be more like Apple.
The closest thing Apple has to registered users is credit card accounts connected to iTunes. Last year at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference, CEO Tim Cook told the audience Apple has 400 million active credit card accounts connected to iTunes. Apple’s revenue in 2012 was $156.5 billion which is about $391 per active iTunes account and it’s an astounding $2.3 million per Apple employee.
Compared to Apple, Facebooks revenue isn’t all that impressive, but just about the only thing Apple and Facebook have in common in terms of product, is that they both produce software. Facebook doesn’t sell any hardware. If anything it is more of a content company. What happens if we compare Facebook to another worldwide content/media company?
News Corporation generated a lot more revenue than Facebook in 2012. Rupert Murdoch’s company made approximately $34 billion in revenue from cable network programming, filmed entertainment, television, direct broadcast satellite TV, and publishing. However, when you break that down per employee, News Corp. didn’t do nearly as good as Facebook. It’s revenue per employee was $396,400.
Facebook isn’t quite 8 years old. It took McDonalds 40 years to get to 1 billion served. No doubt Facebook can and will do better than $5 in revenue per user, but with $1.1 million in revenue per employee, they’re already doing pretty darn good.