"This calendar year they'll do over $500 million," Andreessen said in an interview, noting that Facebook has more than 225 million users, so revenue per user is still small.
"If they pushed the throttle forward on monetization they would be doing more than a billion this year," said Andreessen, who made the cover of Time Magazine as founder of the world's first Web browser company, Netscape.
"There's every reason to expect in my view that the thing can be doing billions in revenue five years from now," Andreessen said.
Barring sudden cataclysmic disruption or legal action, Andreessen's forecast seems pretty reasonable to me considering that 1) upwards of 1 billion more humans may well be online by then, 2) server costs will continue shrink, and 3) CPM rates will continue to climb (perhaps offset by deluge of new users online).
And of course, I further believe that empowering Facebook's prosumer community will be absolutely critical to increased monetization -- via ads (more views), Facebook-as-market conduit (similar to Adsense), social graph data (for search or other uses, more targeted advertising) and a perhaps by claiming a cut of the ballooning Facebook app market.