Facebook investors and employees aren’t the only ones basking in the glow of the social network’s success. As it has grown from a college kid’s dream to a (soon-to-be) publicly traded company, an ecosystem of Facebook-dependent companies have sprouted up around it. Sure, we know all about Zynga. And, yes, plenty of startups (most memorably Instagram) have joined the Palo Alto company over the past few years. But the future of thousands of companies around the world is now tied to Facebook’s success. (Check out our list of last year’s big digital media IPOs.)
According to a study last year from the University of Maryland, the Facebook app economy, which includes more than 8,000 companies in the U.S. alone, created 182,000 jobs in 2011. The total value of Facebook’s app economy, the study said, is more than $12 billion. And that figure doesn’t even include non-app companies in the Facebook ecosystem. In the run-up to Friday’s big IPO, startups that owe (at least part of) their success Facebook are likely giving an extra bit of thanks. Here are ten.
The New York-based startup, which gives brands a consolidated platform for buying ads across social media networks, announced earlier this month that it raised $10 million in funding, bring its total to $13.2. The company operates across multiple social networks but at this point is most closely connected with Facebook.
Riding Facebook’s momentum, this San Francisco-based startup is angling to take on LinkedIn. Since releasing its Facebook-integrated mobile Web app, the social professional network, founded in 2010, has grown from one million monthly active users to about 13.5 monthly active users. In April, it raised $25 million, bringing its total investment to $49 million.
Design and commerce are at the heart of Fab but social sharing – and Facebook, in particular – have helped it grow to 4 million members in less than a year. Since integrating with Facebook, Fab says referral traffic from Facebook has increased from 15-20 percent to 30 percent. This week, it announced a collection of new social features make its Facebook relationship even deeper.
Aiming to dominate the social travel market, Gogobot says it’s drawing much of its growth from Facebook, where 92 percent of its users connect to the service. This week, it crossed the 1 million mark for registered users and says it signs up a new member every 15 seconds.
As of this spring, the London-based company is second only to Zynga as a Facebook game developer, in terms of active active users. Since launching its first Facebook game about a year ago, its audience has increased from 300 million to 2.8 billion games a month, which has led to high double-digit revenue growth, the company said.
Earlier this year the social commerce platform exclusively on Facebook announced that it had reached its one millionth monthly active shopper. In December, Payvment, which has raised about $7.75 million, said the annual transaction volume of merchants in its network tripled during 2011.
MySpace may still mean something to musicians, but RootMusic is helping to migrate more artists to Facebook with its BandPages app. It’s raised $18 million in the past couple of years and counts about half a million artists among its users.
One of the much-hyped “Instagrams for video,” Viddy is currently in fourth place on AppData’s leaderboard for Facebook Apps. Boosted by its Facebook-powered growth, it raised $30 million at a valuation upwards of $300 million.
One of several social media companies capitalizing on the need of brands to manage their presence on Facebook (including top rivals Buddy Media and Hearsay Social), San Francisco-based Wildfire was one of the first winners of Facebook’s fbFund program and has been taking off ever since. In the past year, its customer base doubled to more than 15,000 over the past year, while its workforce tripled to more than 330 people. They’ve raised more than $50M to date.
Spotify was already an international hit before it moved stateside. But, as my colleague Janko points out, its Facebook integration has certainly helped its adoption. Music industry blogger and former Jupiter Research analyst Mark Mulligan estimates that the company has hit 20 million users, “turbo charged” by Facebook and its U.S. launch.
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