Facebook and Microsoft Corp. are expanding their advertising partnership while at the same time Microsoft will take a US$240 million equity stake in Facebook�s next round of financing at a US$15 billion valuation.
Under the expanded strategic alliance, Microsoft will be the exclusive third-party advertising platform partner for Facebook, and will begin to sell advertising for Facebook internationally in addition to the United States.
�We are pleased to take our Microsoft partnership to the next level,� said Owen Van Natta, Chief Revenue Officer, Facebook. �We think this expanded relationship will allow Facebook to continue to innovate and grow as a technology leader and major player in social computing, as well as bring relevant advertising to nearly 50 million active users of Facebook.�
�Making this investment and expanding this partnership will position Microsoft and Facebook to better take advantage of advertising opportunities around the world, and is a great win for not only for our two companies, but also our collective users and advertisers,� said Kevin Johnson, president of the Platforms & Services Division at Microsoft. �We have partnered well over the past year and look forward to doing some exciting things together in the future. The opportunity to further collaborate as advertising partners is a big reason we have decided to take an equity stake, and is a strong statement of our confidence in the long-term economics of this partnership.�
Facebook continues to experience strong growth both in the U.S. and international markets; almost 60 percent of Facebook�s users are outside the U.S. With an average of 200,000 new users registering each day, Facebook continues to be one of the most-trafficked sites on the Internet.
Back on 22 August 2006 the companies announced a U.S.-only strategic alliance that named Microsoft the exclusive provider of standard banner advertising on Facebook using Microsoft�s digital advertising solutions and the Microsoft adCenter platform. In early 2007, the terms were extended to 2011.