Here’s how big Facebook’s ad business really is

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While the big-name dropouts have dented Facebook’s stock price and prompted leadership to address some of the concerns, it’ll take a lot more to stop the company’s digital advertising juggernaut. Facebook generated $69.7 billion from advertising in 2019, more than 98% of its total revenue for the year. And most of those ad dollars don’t come from companies like Starbucks (SBUX) and Coca Cola so much as the sprawling list of small and medium-sized businesses who use Facebook to attract customers and build their brands.Facebook has 8 million advertisers, it said earlier this year. Of those, the highest-spending 100 brands accounted for $4.2 billion in Facebook advertising last year, according to data from marketing research firm Pathmatics — or only about 6% of the platform’s ad revenue. The last time Facebook shared that data itself was in April 2019, when COO Sheryl Sandberg said the top 100 advertisers represented “less than 20%” of total ad revenue. “Facebook has an enormous number of advertiser clients,” said Nicole Perrin, an analyst at eMarketer. “They’re definitely pretty reliant on the long tail of small business advertisers.” Even as Facebook confronts by far the largest advertiser boycott in its history, the sheer number of advertisers on its platform may insulate the company from …

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