As part of its third quarter earnings report on Wednesday, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced some impressive statistics showing its growth.
An estimated 1.55 billion people now use Facebook every month and more than 1 billion people are “daily active users.” 1.39 billion people now use Facebook on mobile devices, while 50 million people also use Facebook Lite, its app for people on low bandwidth connections. As Zuckerberg stated, “This is a great sign for how our mobile strategy continues to make progress across markets, devices and platforms.” As a result, Facebook now has a market capitalization of $308 billion, a valuation that puts it ahead of Amazon, GE and Johnson & Johnson.
“We had a good quarter and got a lot done,” Zuckerberg commented. “We’re focused on innovating and investing for the long term to serve our community and connect the entire world.”
One of the statistics that made brand marketers (and traditional media) sit up straighter is the whopping success of the social network’s video network, with more than 8 billion video views on Facebook every day — a challenge to YouTube and other video sites.
Up from the 4 billion daily statistic that was reported in April, Facebook is working on innovative new video products and partnering with brand marketers to produce exclusive content for the platform as it trials a dedicated video channel with ad tools for its new autoplay video ads.
“Over the next few years, video is going to be some of the most engaging content online, and by continuing to innovate here, we have a chance to build the best place to watch and share videos,” Zuckerberg told analysts on the earnings call.
Zuckerberg said on the call that content owners will eventually pocket a revenue share of their Facebook video views. “There’s a certain class of content which is only going to come onto Facebook if there’s a good way to compensate content owners for that,” Zuckerberg stated when asked how to keep media partners happy. “We’ve recently rolled out the business model for this. We’ll give a revenue share on a portion of the views to content owners.”
The company reported total advertising revenue of $4.3bn during the quarter, with mobile advertising accounting for 78 per cent of total ad revenue.
COO Sheryl Sandberg said Facebook will continue develop ad platforms Atlas and Audience Network, pairing Instagram’s format with the back-end infrastructure and targeting capabilities that helps brands take users on a two-platform “visual journey.”
“We think we’re at the very beginning of what’s possible when we combine these two,” said Sandberg, noting that clients are shifting budgets between the two brands.
The Interactive Bureau of Advertising in the UK video estimates that marketers spent about £292m in the first six months of 2015, but WPP boss Sir Martin Sorrell, among others, has said Facebook’s metrics are “ludicrous” and their standards for a view are much lower than on television. The Facebook metric in question – a charge for every video viewed for three seconds in a news feed.
And on the news feed front, Facebook’s standalone Notify app is ready for primetime and will launch next week with content from media partners including Vogue, Mashable, The Washington Post and CNN. Expanding on its recent Instant Articles push, CBS, Comedy Central and Billboard magazine are also involved.
The app, quite simply, notifies users of breaking news. “In this way, Facebook becomes the de facto portal for all the news mobile users care about, obviating the need for notifications from even popular news apps like those from The New York Times and BuzzFeed.”
Facebook’s move follows Twitter’s roll-out of Moments even as Snapchat suspended its Snap Channel last month as competition increases for even bigger slices of the digital media pie.