Case | HBS Case Collection | March 2008 (Revised March 2014)

Facebook

by Mikolaj Jan Piskorski, Thomas R. Eisenmann, Aaron Smith, David Chen and Brian Feinstein

Abstract

As Facebook topped one billion monthly users in October 2012, the online social network continued to face questions about how best to monetize its surging traffic. The company could invest further in new advertising products, which represented the majority of the revenue thus far, or concentrate on the Facebook Platform and help third-party developers create and distribute their own applications. After a highly anticipated yet largely disappointing initial public offering (IPO), Facebook's stock price steadily declined. It became critical for the Facebook team to identify sustainable growth opportunities, particularly as more of its user base accessed the site via mobile devices.

Keywords: Entrepreneurship; Profit; Open Source Distribution; Social and Collaborative Networks; Competition; Competitive Strategy; Online Technology; Technology Platform; Information Technology Industry;

Citation:

Piskorski, Mikolaj Jan, Thomas R. Eisenmann, Aaron Smith, David Chen, and Brian Feinstein. "Facebook." Harvard Business School Case 808-128, March 2008. (Revised March 2014.) (More Info.)