Facebook Acquisitions

Facebook, now Meta Platforms, has completed approximately 90 acquisitions at the time of writing. 

Many of these acquisitions were deemed “talent acquisitions” where a company takes over another primarily to recruit its employees and not to control its products and services. In some circles, this is a strategy known by the portmanteau term “acqui-hiring”.


It would be remiss of us not to include Facebook’s $1 billion acquisition of Instagram in this list.

Like Google’s acquisition of YouTube six years earlier, the purchase of Instagram was initially seen as exorbitant – a claim no doubt stemming from the fact that Instagram employed just 13 people before it was taken over.

Ultimately, however, the purchase has paid handsome dividends for Facebook.

Facebook’s largest ever purchase was seen as a way for the company to secure a formidable mobile player with Instagram already enjoying some 30 million users on iPhone.


Facebook purchased customer services startup Kustomer in December 2020 for around $1 billion.

Founded by Brad Birnbaum and Jeremy Suriel, Kustomer possessed CRM capabilities that would enable Facebook to bolster similar services for businesses on its platform.

In fact, around 175 million businesses on the social media network use a Facebook page as their primary online identity instead of a website or mobile app of their own.


We have to travel back to 2014 for Facebook’s purchase of video ad tech startup LiveRail. The deal to acquire the platform, which connects marketers to publishers on mobile and web, was estimated to be worth $400-500 million.

LiveRail’s platform featured a substantial customer base including ABC Family, Gannett, Dailymotion, and Major League Baseball.

The deal was seen as a way for Facebook to profit from the fast-growing medium of video advertising and combine its data with LiveRail to boost its ad targeting capabilities.


CTRL-labs is a neural interface startup that was acquired by Facebook in September 2019.

Facebook did not disclose the terms of the deal, but it was estimated to be worth anywhere between $500 million and $1 billion.

This made it the most substantial purchase since the acquisition of Oculus VR in 2014.

Headed by CEO and former Internet Explorer creator Thomas Reardon, the company’s core product was a wristband that could transform neuromuscular signals into commands a machine could interpret. 


At around $60 million, the purchase of Face.com was one of Facebook’s least expensive. However, it was considered one of its more important.

Face.com was an Israeli company and developer of facial recognition technology that the social media giant could use to enable users to tag others in mobile photos.

Without this capability, Facebook was losing countless opportunities to increase engagement via tagging and user suggestions.

Key takeaways:

  • Facebook, now Meta Platforms, has completed approximately 90 acquisitions at the time of writing. Some of these were instituted to acquire the target company’s skilled talent with control over products and services less of an immediate concern.
  • Facebook’s purchase of Instagram is one of its most successful, despite initial criticism that the $1 billion asking price was too much for a company with 13 employees.
  • Other perhaps lesser-known acquisitions include CRM developer Kustomer, video ad tech startup LiveRail, and facial recognition tech company Face.com.

Read Next: Facebook Business Model, Instagram Business Model

Related Business Models

Facebook Stats


Facebook Revenues


Facebook ARPU

ARPU, or average revenue per user, is a key metric for attention merchants like Facebook. It assesses the ability of the platform to monetize its users. For instance, by the end of 2022, Meta’s ARPU worldwide was $10.86. While in US & Canada, it was $58.77; in Europe, it was $17.29; in Asia, $4.61 and in the rest of the world, it was $3.52.

Facebook Profitability


Facebook Revenue Breakdown


Mark Zuckerberg Empire

Mark Zuckerberg is the principal shareholder of the company. Not only he retains ownership and control of the company. Facebook, like Google, has issued two kinds of common stocks, Class A and Class B. Where the holders of Class B common stocks are entitled to ten votes per share, and holders of our Class A common stocks are entitled to one vote per share. Mark Zuckerberg has a total voting power of 57.9%. 

Attention-Merchants Business Model

In an asymmetric business model, the organization doesn’t monetize the user directly. Still, it leverages the data users provide and technology, thus having a key customer pay to sustain the core asset. For example, Google makes money by leveraging users’ data and its algorithms sold to advertisers for visibility. This is how attention merchants make monetize their business models.

Asymmetric Business Model

In an asymmetric business model, the organization doesn’t monetize the user directly. Still, it leverages the data users provide and technology, thus having a key customer pay to sustain the core asset. For example, Google makes money by leveraging users’ data and its algorithms sold to advertisers for visibility.

Facebook Business Model

Facebook, the main product of Meta, is an attention merchant. As such, its algorithms condense the attention of over 2.91 billion monthly active users as of June 2021. Meta generated $117.9 billion in revenues, in 2021, of which $114.9 billion was from advertising (97.4% of the total revenues) and over $2.2 billion from Reality Labs (the augmented and virtual reality products arm). 

Facebook Organizational Structure

Facebook is characterized by a multi-faceted matrix organizational structure. The company utilizes a flat organizational structure in combination with corporate function-based teams and product-based or geographic divisions. The flat organizational structure is organized around the leadership of Mark Zuckerberg and the key executives around him. On the other hand, the function-based teams are based on the main corporate functions (like HR, product management, investor relations, and so on).

Metaverse Supply Chain


Google Business Model

A hidden revenue business model is a pattern for revenue generation that keeps users out of the equation, so they don’t pay for the service or product offered. For instance, Google’s users don’t pay for the search engine. Instead, the revenue streams come from advertising money spent by businesses bidding on keywords.

TikTok Business Model

TikTok is a Chinese creative social media platform driven by short-form video content enabling users to interact and generate content at scale. TikTok primarily makes money through advertising, and it generated $4.6 billion in advertising revenues in 2021, thus making it among the most popular attention-based business models or attention merchants.

Instagram Business Model

Instagram makes money via visual advertising. As part of Facebook products, the company generates revenues for Facebook Inc.’s overall business model. Acquired by Facebook for a billion dollars in 2012, today Instagram is integrated into the overall Facebook business strategy. In 2018, Instagram founders, Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger left the company, as Facebook pushed toward tighter integration of the two platforms.

YouTube Business Model

YouTube was acquired for almost $1.7 billion in 2006 by Google. It makes money through advertising and subscription revenues. YouTube advertising network is part of Google Ads, and it generated more than $28B in revenue by 2021. YouTube also makes money with its paid memberships and premium content.

Twitter Business Model

Twitter makes money in two ways: advertising and data licensing. In 2021, Twitter generated $4.5 billion from advertising and $570 million from data licensing. While Twitter generated $5 billion in total revenues, it lost 221 million.

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