Facebook advertiser count tops 5m thanks to small businesses

Facebook tops 5 million advertiser mark thanks to small businesses

The number of businesses using Facebook to advertise their products and services has increased by 1 million since the end of last year to hit the 5 million mark.

The company announced the news in a blog post today, with chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg telling Forbes that she believed technology was democratizing businesses.

"Your phone can shoot a video ad, and for just a few dollars, you can reach people on Facebook," she said. "The fact that those tools are now simple enough and accessible enough that 5 million can use them is pretty exciting."

Facebook had 4 million active advertisers in September, meaning it has attracted the attention of 1 million more in the space of just eight months. The social network has also said that the number of businesses with mobile pages on the platform has reached 65 million, revealing the figures less than a month after sister company Instagram announced it had hit the 1 million advertisers mark.

As with Instagram, Facebook is pinning its popularity among advertisers on small businesses. Forbes claims the majority of firms using Facebook are medium to small sized and that nearly three-quarters of advertisers are from outside the US. The fastest growing countries are India, Brazil, Mexico and Thailand and the top three verticals of marketers are e-commerce, entertainment and media and retail.

“We’re working hard to give small businesses the same opportunities to create, share and target that large businesses have," said Sandberg.

To help sustain advertising growth fuelled by small businesses the company has unveiled a suite of tools to better help businesses target and measure the performance of their ads on desktop; a move that follows similar plays from the tech giant and one that is likely to be welcomed by advertisers following complaints from bigger brands and agencies around the social behemoth's commitment to transparency.

The firm has also expanded the online presence of its Small Business Council, which includes 40 businesses across a range of industries and sizes and offering tips on business success.

Facebook generated $26.9bn in ad revenue last year, coming second only to Google in the digital space.

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