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Two Businesses Google and Facebook almost Ditched

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Google (GOOGL) and Facebook (FB) are two of the world’s most successful technology companies. They are huge and yet are still growing. Google parent Alphabet reported revenue of $136.8 billion in 2018. This is expected to jump to $162.7 billion in 2019 and top $190 billion in 2020. Facebook’s revenue grew from $40.7 billion in 2017 to $55.8 billion in 2018. The revenue is expected to hit $70.5 billion in 2019. Then, it may jump to $85.8 billion in 2020.

Google controls over 90% of the world’s search engine market while Facebook commands 66% of the world’s social media market. The two alone control about two-thirds of America’s digital advertising market and more than half the globe’s digital advertising market.

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Google and Facebook stocks delivered impressive returns in 2019

In less than a week from now, we will say goodbye to 2019 and welcome 2020. For Google and Facebook investors, they cannot regret owning stocks in these companies. Google stock gained about 30%. Impressively, Facebook’s stock gained more than 50% so far this year.

While Google and Facebook are no doubt successful big tech companies, not every venture has been smooth for them. Here are two businesses Google and Facebook contemplated ditching.

Google explored exiting the cloud computing business

At some point last year, Google executives debated the company’s future in the public cloud computing market. Amazon (AMZN) has long dominated the cloud market and Microsoft (MSFT) has remained a strong No. 2. Meanwhile, Google was somewhat of a perpetual No. 3.

Google executives didn’t like lagging behind Amazon and Microsoft in the cloud market. Therefore, the executives considered pulling Google out of the public cloud market. But they later decided to keep Google in the business.

They set a clear goal marked by a deadline, CNBC reports: The goal and the deadline? In five years, Google should beat Amazon to become the world’s top cloud computing market. If beating Amazon proves impossible in five years, then Google should overtake Microsoft.

Facebook almost dropped the political advertising business

Facebook’s political advertising business has come under intense pressure this year. Pressure on the business mounted after Facebook made controversial changes to its political advertising guidelines. Some politicians have even accused Facebook of cutting a secret deal with Trump to let him circulate lies on its platforms.

In October, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that the headache that the political ads business generates far outweigh any financial benefit the company draws from the business. That is why Facebook at one point considered exiting the political advertising market.

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