How much money does Facebook make from you, and how does it?

The most extensive social network is making more money than ever before, and if you’re a user, you can find out, on average, how much of that success is due to you.

Between July and September 2016 alone, Facebook’s revenue exceeded US$7 billion, the company announced.

According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), A figure is so formidable that Facebook’s revenue exceeds the Gross Domestic Product of more than 40 countries.

The company founded by Mark Zuckerberg, on the other hand, only needed three months to reach it.

The reason for these multi-million profits is no secret: its users.

Mark Zuckerberg in a grey T-shirt
At 32, Mark Zuckerberg is perhaps the most recognizable face of social media success. The number of Facebook users is approaching a quarter of the world’s population.

The growing number of Facebook users translates into potential customers for companies that buy advertising space on the social network.

How much money does Facebook make from you, and how does it

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According to the website Statista, which specializes in databases, Facebook reached 1.79 billion active users during July and September.

That figure is equivalent to almost a quarter of the world’s population.

How much does Facebook earn from you?
If we divide the social network’s quarterly revenue by the number of people who use it, we get US$4.01.

This amount represents the global average of what Facebook earned from each of its users.

Young people are looking at their mobile phones in a park in front of a pond.
Nearly 90 percent of Facebook users access the social network via mobile phones.

If we project this figure out to a year, we get $16.04, which is what you would be helping Facebook earn in 12 months.

This is a significant increase from US$11.88 the previous year.

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In other words, Facebook users are not only growing, but each one is becoming more valuable.

How much money does Facebook make from you, and how does it

However, the economic value of those who use the social network varies geographically according to advertising revenues in each region.

Night-time image of people walking through New York City. Times Square area
Symphony of lights and movement in New York. The United States and Canada remain Facebook’s most important markets in terms of advertising revenue.

According to Facebook’s balance sheets, between July and September, each user in the US and Canada accounted for US$15.65, while in Europe, the average was US$4.72.

In the “rest of the world” (excluding Asia-Pacific), the quarterly average was US$1.21 per user.

Multi-billion dollar advertising
Of the US$7 billion in revenue that Facebook announced, US$6.82 billion was from advertising.

And of that advertising, according to The Telegraph, 84% are ads designed to be viewed on mobile phones.

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This is no accident. It is estimated that 90% of people who have Facebook check it on their mobile phones.

Protest in Morocco. A woman holds the Facebook logo
Protest in Morocco was organized through Facebook. The social network has become much more than a platform for posting photos. It sometimes reflects everything from the user’s profession to their political position.

How much money does Facebook make from you, and how does it

“We had another good quarter,” Mark Zuckerberg said this week when publishing his company’s financial results.

And why are more and more companies advertising through Facebook?

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Because what the social network offers is the possibility of targeting particular audiences, segmented by age, gender, level of education, work, and even hobbies.

By opening an account on the social network, as part of the user contract, we agree to our personal information being used in this way.

Obama in conversation with Mark Zuckerberg
Obama is considered the first president to use the potential of social media. He has publicly held several meetings with the creator of Facebook.

Everything we post allows the social network to get to know our habits and tastes as consumers, which is precisely what it offers advertisers.

If you like to travel, your Facebook wall probably has advertisements for airlines, or if you are a student, you may see ads for computer brands.

Should Facebook pay us?
The social network’s massive revenues have prompted this question: should Facebook be charged?

If our personal information is vital to Facebook’s advertising, more than a few people wonder whether users deserve compensation.

“Facebook’s biggest innovation is not the social network, but the fact that it has convinced us to give away a lot of personal information for next to nothing,” says Tim Wu, a law professor at Columbia University in New York.

The Facebook website and app on the phone.
Image caption,
Want to create an account? “It’s free and always will be,” Facebook says. However, maybe it’s not money we’re paying with.

“If we were smart about this accounting, we would ask Facebook to pay us,” Wu argues in The New Yorker magazine.

In his book “Who Owns the Future?”, the American writer and computer scientist Jaron Lanier comes to a similar conclusion.

How much money does Facebook make from you, and how does it

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For him, personal information is like work: it doesn’t go to waste if you give it away, but if you don’t get anything in return, you’re not getting what you deserve.

Before you log in to Facebook, below the boxes where you type in your password, you may have noticed the word “Sign up.”

Below is a sentence: “It’s free and always will be.”

However, in the opinion of the specialists mentioned above, Facebook users do pay Facebook with their personal information.

And it is that information that is the currency that makes the social media giant’s multi-billion dollar business model profitable.

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