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As of today, Facebook now serves 300 million people across the world. It's a large number, but the way we think about this is that we're just getting started on our goal of connecting everyone.
We're also succeeding at building Facebook in a sustainable way. Earlier this year, we said we expected to be cash flow positive sometime in 2010, and I'm pleased to share that we achieved this milestone last quarter. This is important to us because it sets Facebook up to be a strong independent service for the long term.
Also, 300 Million users before turning a profit is surely a case of must do better on the moetisation front (which I'm sure they will). I'd be happy to help them in that respect ;)
"cash-flow positive" - does that mean "profitable"?
"Cash-flow positive" means that they are not any longer bleeding money; this trend could be reversed. Now they generate more money than they spend. If they had no debt, they would be indeed "profitable". However, as they had been losing money until now, they do have debt, and this is going to be "paid back" by the difference between revenue and cost.
It will in fact take a while until they reach true profitability, i.e. earning more money than they spend, and without debt. Quite a while, I guess.
There's something oddly satisfying in knowing that my site earns me one hundred fold more per visitor than Facebook earns. Needing 300 million users to turn a "cash flow positive", that's hardly sustainable!
Funny you make such a generalization. Zuckerberg has stated revenues are already in the "hundreds of millions" but he also stated the obvious direction of his company has been to sustain the explosive growth to lock in the "Social" hub aspect of facebook. After all, what good is being social if your limited to profiting before you establish yourself as a defacto social hub?
Look at it this way, google is projected to "only" have a negative cashflow of 171 million on Youtube this year and through the explosive growth of Facebook they weren't estimating a positive cash flow until 2010. obviously, facebook is doing something right :)