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Facebook revenue skyrockets

Social network said to have doubled revenue to $1.6bn

Facebook revenue skyrockets
Facebook's revenue has allegedly doubled to $1.6bn.

Facebook's revenue has allegedly doubled to $1.6 billion in the first half of 2011, a source with knowledge of its financials told Reuters.

This revenue boost underlines the social network's appeal to advertisers, while it fends off challenges from competition such as Google+.

According to the source, Facebook's net income in the first half of 2011 came to almost $500 million.

The source wished to remain anonymous as Facebook does not disclose its financial results.

Facebook's valuation has been pushed to around $80bn by investors in private markets. According to Reuters, many industry observers are expecting the social network to go public in 2012.

"We really see Facebook as becoming like the operating system for delivering ads on the Internet," Dave Williams, the CEO of Blinq Media, which runs ad campaigns for companies on Facebook told Reuters.

Google+, launched in June, does not offer ads yet on its network, but is trying to attract customers by offering games such as Zynga Poker and Rovio's Angry Birds.

According to documents Goldman Sachs provided to clients during a share offer this year, Facebook earned $355 million in net income in the first nine months of 2010 on revenue of $1.2 billion.

Facebook is expected to introduce a host of new features this month, including music services from Spotify and Rhapsody.

The social networking site accounted for nearly one-third of all internet display advertisement impressions in the United States in June, more than the combined total of Yahoo, Microsoft Corp, Google and AOL Inc, according to analytics firm comScore.

Facebook's per click price on ads hosted on the site has increased 62% between the fourth quarter of 2010 and the second quarter of 2011 due to their increasing popularity, according to Efficient Frontier, another firm that helps companies deliver ad campaigns on Facebook.

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