December 17, 2010, 5:49 PM — Not long after being criticized for not knowing how to make money, Facebook is looking to reel in more than $2 billion in sales in 2010.
Financial news site Bloomberg reported Thursday that the world's largest social network is expected to more than double its 2009 sales figures, which reportedly came in between $700 million and $800 million. Citing unnamed sources, Bloomberg also reported that Facebook executives were only expecting to bring in $1.5 billion in sales this year but exceeded those expectations by half a billion dollars.
"I'm not surprised they're finally effectively monetizing their assets," said Ezra Gottheil, an analyst with Technology Business Research. "It's been a combination of increasing page views, increasing customer interest in social media and a tidal wave of publicity."
It wasn't so long ago that Facebook was receiving a lot of scrutiny about its need to develop a solid business plan . The social network, while growing fast, needed a business model to take advantage of its momentum. Facebook answered its critics by beginning to draw in big advertising dollars.
According to Bloomberg, Facebook has become an attractive vehicle for major advertisers, including Coca-Cola, JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Adidas.
Facebook had no comment on the Bloomberg report.
Gottheil said Facebook has made some wise business decisions, but he was quick to add that it would be difficult to not make a lot of money with such a massive customer base. Facebook announced last July that the social network had pulled in its 500 millionth user .
"Facebook has certainly had a big turnaround, but it's not really a surprise," said Gottheil. "Any time you've got that much traffic, that much user information, and that much leverage with your users, the dollars are bound to show up eventually."
Earlier this week, Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook's CEO, was named Time's Person of the Year . Zuckerberg and his company also have been the focus of widespread media attention this year. The movie The Social Network came out this fall, focusing on Zuckerberg as he created the company that quickly made him a billionaire.