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BUILDING TO COMPETE

Facebook is always innovating for people.

Facebook Top Story

Facebook Files Second Motion to Dismiss the Lawsuit Brought by the FTC

The FTC cannot credibly claim Facebook has monopoly power because no such power exists. We compete vigorously with TikTok, iMessage, Twitter, Snapchat, LinkedIn, YouTube, and countless others.

With the internet, the next big thing is always around the corner.

Technology companies have given the world new ways to communicate and leveled the playing field for entrepreneurs to start and run new businesses. In the global digital economy, competition is fierce and innovation comes fast. People choose to use Facebook’s apps because they find it valuable to do so. If they didn’t, they would go elsewhere.

Our services are free because they are funded by ads that are useful to the people who see them and valuable to the businesses that run them. By investing our resources in building products that people like, Facebook can help people stay connected and share their voices. But that only happens if we remain nimble and deliver what people want.

Man and woman outside on smartphone

INNOVATION IS A NECESSITY

Facebook has to stay competitive or people will turn to something else.

We may be popular, but that popularity is always subject to the next download on the Apple App Store or Google Play Store. These days, the growth of the app ecosystem has greatly expanded developers’ possibilities — pushing us to build more innovative products and features to meet consumers’ evolving needs.

More Choice Than Ever

In the past few years, the digital and mobile world has witnessed an explosion of apps and services to share and connect. App developers are constantly adding new features to their apps or releasing new apps entirely. Of the top 100 most-downloaded apps in 2019, more than one-third were new entrants and many crossed traditional category lines, like entertainment, social, shopping and media. To stay competitive, Facebook has to stay nimble, evolve quickly, and build better products and services.

Mobile icons animating across the page

Based on download and Monthly Active User numbers from App Annie

WHAT ARE WE DOING

Investing in Research and Development

Technology is a vibrant, competitive sector of the global economy. If we do not build the products people want, they will simply go elsewhere. That’s why in 2019 alone, Facebook spent nearly a fifth of our yearly budget — about $14 billion — developing new technologies and infrastructure. Our investments help keep people safe and keep our apps secure, reliable and fast.

Building Data Centers

Investments like data centers have significant positive downstream economic impacts on local communities. Of the 17 data centers that Facebook operates around the world, 13 are in the US, bringing with them in-demand jobs. With each new data center we build, we add renewable energy to the local grid. And by open-sourcing our data center designs, we’ve helped spur innovation across the industry.

Building Better Technologies

When Facebook launched in 2004, it had no Photos, Like button, News Feed, Messenger, Events, Shops or Rooms. As the ways people connect and share evolved over the years alongside rapid innovations in technology, we built new and better apps and services. In turn, many of the iconic features we pioneered have been adopted and improved upon by other companies.

But we can never rest on our laurels. We have to keep investing in new ideas and building new experiences. For example, our Portal devices bring a real sense of presence to video communication. And with Oculus, Facebook is building the next computing platform: augmented and virtual reality.

Open-Sourcing Our Tools and Technologies

Facebook shares our innovations with the open source community. We support more than 400 free, open-source technologies that have benefited millions of businesses and are now industry standards.

For example, we developed the Pytorch open source project that is quickly becoming the must-use tool for AI. This is also true for our developer tools like React and React Native that are used by companies like Microsoft, Pinterest, Infinite Red and Callstack. And last year, we released Map With AI, which includes the RapiD editor that uses AI to build open source maps. We invest in these technologies and make them free because openness sparks even more innovation.

INSTAGRAM AND WHATSAPP FROM FACEBOOK

Facebook's investments have helped Instagram and WhatsApp build and grow.

At the time of acquisition, Instagram looked very different than it does today. Many features that are now central to the Instagram community — Direct, Live, Shopping, and Stories — were built on Facebook’s core technology and infrastructure after the acquisition. As part of Facebook, Instagram offers a richer user experience and a more stable platform. Today, it is safer, better for businesses, and brings users closer to the people and things they love.

Facebook Instagram Timeline - infographic

Our community benefits from these acquisitions.

Post-acquisition, WhatsApp is a leading choice in how people connect across the globe with private, end-to-end encrypted messaging. Facebook’s resources and investment helped WhatsApp grow to what it is today — a free, secure and reliable messaging service that empowers over 2 billion users to communicate all over the world.

Infographic showing the growth in free calling on WhatsApp and increasing reliability over the years

THE ROLE OF DATA IN DIGITAL ENTERPRISES

Data is not a limited resource.

Every business, including Facebook, has to use data to operate and grow. New technologies are constantly making it possible for businesses to collect and use data, in new industries and new ways. Still, it’s not data alone that makes Facebook valuable. Our products are valuable to people because of the personalized experiences made possible by data. Unlike a newspaper you read or a store you visit, your experience on Facebook is customized just for you. If Facebook didn’t build services that meet people’s needs, they would go elsewhere.


Transparency and Control

In a digital ecosystem, it’s important that people are empowered to make informed choices about how their data is used and when. For example, that’s why we introduced industry-leading tools like Download Your Information and Why Am I Seeing This Ad?, which helps people understand why they are seeing certain ads and gives them more control over their experience.

Data Portability

There are times when people want to be able to move their information from one online service to another. This is good for people, and it’s good for innovation. But, data sharing should not come at the cost of people’s expectations of privacy and integrity. They should be able to move their data between services in a way that’s also privacy-protected.

That’s why we’re participating in the Data Transfer Project, a collaborative effort among major tech companies to develop a common way for people to transfer data into and out of online services. And why we’re working with policymakers on data portability frameworks that are good for people and businesses.

CHOICE FOR ADVERTISERS

For every dollar spent on advertising in the US, less than 10 cents is spent with us.

Just as with the apps and services we build for everyone to use, we also have to stay innovative when it comes to building products for the millions of businesses that advertise on Facebook. We have to work every day to make Facebook advertising a good investment for advertisers, or they’ll go elsewhere.

HELPING SMALL BUSINESSES THRIVE

Small businesses choose Facebook to grow.

While Facebook represents one way for businesses of all sizes to build their brands, we’re particularly proud that our advertising tools empower small businesses to compete with more prominent, legacy players.

Traditionally, small businesses had little or no access to the audiences that only large advertisers could afford. Facebook provides advertisers with easy-to-use tools to measure and manage their ads in real time so they can grow and thrive on a level playing field. This in turn spurs greater competition and innovation among businesses.

Man and woman stand inside their clothing shop

WHAT ARE WE DOING

Building New Tools

To serve advertisers, we have to keep meeting their needs. So we’re constantly finding new ways to help businesses reach and keep customers through things like messaging, management, payments, events and shopping .

Supporting Small Businesses

Over the years, Facebook has invested millions of dollars in programs and tools designed to help job-seekers and small businesses succeed in the digital economy, like training and grant programs. With programs like Boost with Facebook, we give small business owners the support they need to grow their businesses online.

To help businesses during the COVID-19 crisis, we’re taking a number of steps to connect them with resources and assistance. More info can be found on our COVID-19 Business Resource Hub.