The paidContent 50: The Most Successful Digital Media Companies In The U.S.

10. Facebook

Facebook

U.S. 2010 digital revenue: $1.07 billion-plus

Snapshot: Facebook started off 2010 in disastrous fashion, with users raising very loud objections to a series of updates that limited what information they could keep private on the site. CEO Mark Zuckerberg eventually apologized and unveiled new simpler privacy controls. That apparently was enough for users who quickly forgot the uproar and kept on signing on. The number of Facebook users doubled in 2010 — to nearly 600 million, while the company’s valuation jumped to $75 billion from $14 billion.

Key digital move in 2010: The company unveiled a “Like” button in April that let visitors to third-party sites indicate to their Facebook contacts (with one click) that they liked a specific piece of content. By the end of the year, the Like button was ubiquitous across the web and reinforced the social network’s position as the place to share content online.

How we generated our estimate: Documents leaked to the Wall Street Journal indicated the company’s sales were $1.2 billion during the first nine months of 2010, implying sales reached at least $1.6 billion for the year. eMarketer estimates about two-thirds of Facebook’s revenue comes from the U.S.