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Facebook’s meteoric five-year climb as a public company in five charts

It didn’t happen fast, but Facebook’s business has taken off.

Zef Nikolla / Facebook

It’s been five years since Facebook and its young, hoody-wearing CEO Mark Zuckerberg turned in one of the largest IPOs in history.

While the social network floundered in its first year on the public markets, it has since become a global advertising powerhouse. The result? The social giant is one of the most valuable companies in the world with a market cap of more than $410 billion.

Facebook’s dominance is best depicted by its user growth and engagement, which remain formidable.

Facebook finished March with 1.9 billion monthly active users, representing growth of about 500 million users over the past two years. About 1.3 billion — roughly two thirds — use Facebook daily, a percentage that has held steady. It should pass two billion users this summer.

Since going public, Facebook has also successfully built its advertising business, which should generate well over $30 billion in revenue this year and is very profitable.

A big reason for Facebook’s success growing its user base and business has been its ability to figure out the monumental global shift to mobile devices.

Mobile advertising represented about 85 percent of its total ad revenue last quarter, up from almost nothing during its IPO quarter. As Facebook has added more mobile users, it has also gotten better at making money showing ads to them.

Investors have bought into it, sending Facebook’s share price mostly “up and to the right” over the past five years. Shares set an all-time high in April at $153.60, up from the $110s about a year ago and the teens in mid-2012.

This has established Facebook as one of the largest technology companies in the world, as its market capitalization has gained more than $350 billion in value since its IPO.

Here’s a look at Facebook compared to Google, which has also thrived thanks to the rise of digital and mobile advertising, and Microsoft, which once dominated the PC industry before things switched to mobile. Facebook is still the smallest of the three, but has been closing the gap on Microsoft.

(Microsoft founder Bill Gates has also become a mentor to Zuckerberg; the two like to talk about donating billions to scientific research and film corny dad videos together.)

This article originally appeared on

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