Technology

Facebook ad platform grows to 5 million businesses

Over 5 million businesses are advertising on Facebook, according to a leading executive for the social networking site.

Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg announced the numbers, which will reportedly be released on Monday, in an interview with Reuters. She pointed to the company's increasing advertising numbers as evidence that, despite Facebook's large volume, the company could still expand its revenue streams.

The numbers show consistent growth from September 2016, when the company had 4 million businesses on the platform, and earlier in 2016, when 3 million advertisers used Facebook.

Despite Facebook's increased business, its biggest advertising competitor, Google, still maintains a stronghold on the field and has posted the biggest increases. Together, Facebook and Google account for 85 percent of every new dollar spent on digital advertising. Forty-six percent of all ad dollars spent on digital ads go to the two companies.

The newly public Snap Inc. has been trying to make inroads into Facebook's advertising market share as well. The company introduced the option to put app install advertisements in its Snapchat product, which gives users the option to download apps directly within the Snapchat app.

App install ads are responsible for 17 percent of Facebook's ad revenue as of 2015.

Much of Facebook's advertising growth comes from large corporations, but the company is making efforts to attract smaller companies to expand its potential for growth. Tools to bring in smaller advertisers include a mobile design studio, targeted ads and online courses to help advertisers navigate Facebook's ad platform.

"Small businesses provide such important products and services, but they also are a huge engine of job growth in a world where job growth is increasingly uncertain and something people really worry about," Sandberg told Reuters.

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