This past June, Facebook hit 2 billion active users making it the largest social network! This superseded the competitors; YouTube with 1.5 billion users and Twitter with 328 million users. Since its inception, Facebook has had a significant impact on society. The social platform makes it possible to communicate in a way we never have before by sharing our emotions, stories, likes/dislikes, photos, videos and life events all without actually speaking to a human.

With almost 1 million comments, status updates and photos going out every 60 seconds on the platform, users tend to be subconsciously blind when it comes to Facebook being extremely impactful through their advertising. Since Facebook has so much data on their users, it allows the 5 million advertisers using the platform to specifically target their audience better than ever before. In addition to the reach you can receive with their 2 billion active users, Facebook also has an Audience Network with other partners. This means Facebook sends ads to other websites and apps with the same target audience the advertiser selected. Facebook announced that by using this feature, an additional 1 billion people have the opportunity to see your ad monthly. Also, let’s not forget that they own Instagram, which has its own audience of 700 million. Because of this large reach, it puts Facebook in direct competition with Google’s display advertising. According to the research firm eMarketer, in 2017 Facebook will hold 39.1% of the US display market compared to Google’s 12.5% share.

Due to so many advertisers using their platform, Facebook ended 2016 with 8.6 billion in ad revenue alone (a 53% growth from the prior year). In addition, the cost to advertise continues to rise as the platform grows. The average price per ad has increased year over year by over 9%. However, the price to play in the game is usually worth it. At I-ology, we have seen an average ROI of 6.12 times return (over a 3 month period) by advertising through Facebook. We’ve also seen an 8% increase in audience followers due to running ads.

Whether you love it or hate it, it’s hard to deny the impact Facebook has on everyday lives, even if you don’t have an account. Time will only tell where the social giant will go next and the influence it will continue to have around the world.