Facebook shows no signs of slowing in Q4 results - Mobile World Live

Facebook shows no signs of slowing in Q4 results

02 FEB 2017

Facebook’s quarterly numbers showed the company is going from strength to strength, with mobile ad revenue generating a bigger share of the revenue pie, although less positively it lost a $500 million lawsuit related to its VR arm Oculus.

The social media giant saw a profit of $3.57 billion, more than double the $1.56 billion figure it reported a year ago, and total revenue hit $8.8 billion, up from $5.84 billion a year ago.

Most of its revenue – $8.6 billion – came from ads, and mobile ad revenue made up 84 per cent of this, increasing from 80 per cent a year ago.

The firm said mobile continues to drive its growth: mobile daily active users were 1.15 billion on average for December 2016, an increase of 23 per cent year-on-year, and mobile monthly active users were 1.74 billion at the end of December.

CEO Mark Zuckerberg also said on an earnings call that 400 million people now use voice and video chat on Messenger every month.

Ad revenue
When it comes to ad revenue, COO Sheryl Sandberg said the firm has three priorities: capitalising on the shift to mobile, growing the number of marketers using its ad products, and making ads more relevant and effective.

She said that 65 million businesses are using Facebook’s free Pages product and five million are using Instagram Business profiles. “More and more of these businesses are becoming advertisers with over four million advertising on Facebook and over 500,000 on Instagram”.

As for ads in Messenger, which the company recently started testing, she said “we are really focused on consumer growth and engagement because we know that over time that creates the monetisation opportunity”.

She also mentioned that in 2016, “we saw more marketers prioritising mobile and especially mobile video”.

Video
In the earnings call, the company talked up video, but it gave no confirmation of reports that it is working on an app for set-top boxes like Apple TV.

Wall Street Journal reported Facebook is talking to media companies to license long-form, TV-quality programming, but the CEO said “we’re focusing more on shorter-form content to start”.

Zuckerberg said he saw “video as a megatrend” and that “last year we started to invest in more original video content to help seed the ecosystem, and we’re planning to do more in 2017”.

Oculus
A jury ordered Facebook’s Oculus VR to pay $500 million in damages to video game publisher ZeniMax Media.

It found Oculus founder Palmer Luckey guilty of “unlawful infringement of ZeniMax’s copyrights and trademarks” and for the violation of a non-disclosure agreement “pursuant to which we shared breakthrough VR technology that we had developed and that we exclusively own,” ZeniMax said.

On VR, Zuckerberg only said the firm is working to bring more social experiences to VR with apps like Oculus Rooms for Gear VR.

“We’re going to keep making big investments in VR content, and I’m excited about what’s coming in 2017, from new games to more immersive educational experiences,” he said.

As for dealing with the rise of fake news on the platform for which it has been heavily criticised, mainly around the US election time, the CEO said “we’ve taken steps to reduce spam and clickbait, and now we’re approaching misinformation and hoaxes the same way”.

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Saleha Riaz

Saleha joined Mobile World Live in October 2014 as a reporter and works across all e-newsletters - creating content, writing blogs and reports as well as conducting feature interviews...More

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