The 10 (Surprising) Companies That Make More Money Online Than Facebook

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The social networking company may dominate the headlines, but not the top line.

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Facebook has more users than any service in the world, as they slowly close in on a billion. But when it comes to revenue, many old and new companies are generating more revenue in the digital world than Facebook.

PaidContent assembled a list of the companies generating the most revenue "from digital content, or from the advertising around that content." They released it today and, surprisingly, Facebook is currently sitting at number 11.

Who are the 10 companies ahead of Zuckerberg's empire? Google is the clear leader, but you'll also find old rivals Yahoo, Apple, and Microsoft. The business information players are also strong: Bloomberg, Reed Elsevier (an investor in PaidContent, BTW), and Thomson Reuters. And last but not least, as in all things, don't forget China! Telco China Mobile and general tech player Tencent both make appearances on the top 10.

There is some good news for Facebook, though: they're the only social networking site on the list. You won't find a Tumblr, Twitter, or Pinterest in the top 50 global digital revenue generators.

Not every company makes these numbers easy to access, so in some cases, PaidContent has made educated guesses based on research. They (impressively) explain their methodology for each individual company on the list.


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Alexis C. Madrigal

Alexis Madrigal is the deputy editor of TheAtlantic.com. He's the author of Powering the Dream: The History and Promise of Green Technology. More

The New York Observer has called Madrigal "for all intents and purposes, the perfect modern reporter." He co-founded Longshot magazine, a high-speed media experiment that garnered attention from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and the BBC. While at Wired.com, he built Wired Science into one of the most popular blogs in the world. The site was nominated for best magazine blog by the MPA and best science website in the 2009 Webby Awards. He also co-founded Haiti ReWired, a groundbreaking community dedicated to the discussion of technology, infrastructure, and the future of Haiti.

He's spoken at Stanford, CalTech, Berkeley, SXSW, E3, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and his writing was anthologized in Best Technology Writing 2010 (Yale University Press).

Madrigal is a visiting scholar at the University of California at Berkeley's Office for the History of Science and Technology. Born in Mexico City, he grew up in the exurbs north of Portland, Oregon, and now lives in Oakland.

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