More than one million active advertisers, five million videos uploaded in 24 hours and more than 100 million monthly active mobile app users – just a few of the business highlights from Facebook’s 2013 Q2 results.
Sure, it is no surprise that the online social networking powerhouse is doing well, but these figures are an important tool as they give a clear indication of consumer and advertiser behaviour.
During the 2013 second quarter, which ended June 30, strong financial results, especially on mobile, were revealed. Mobile monthly active users (MAUs) were 819 million, an increase of 51% year-over-year. Mobile daily active users (DAUs) were 469 million on average for period.
Mobile advertising revenue represented approximately 41% of advertising revenue for Q2.
Building Market Sentiment
Tradedoubler’s head of mobile in the UK and Ireland, Neil Ranatunga, said what is interesting about Facebook’s latest statement is that it has turned around its mobile offering from an ‘industry embarrassment’ (opting for an HTML5 app), to one which is now seen as their brightest hope in finally justifying its share price with a ‘powerful and rapidly growing cash cow’.
“All of this has happened within a year. It’s a nice example of just how rapidly moving this industry is, but more importantly, it’s a stark illustration of how lucrative the mobile space is for those that actively engage with it and the lost opportunity of those that are ‘waiting and seeing’,” Ranatunga said.
“These updates are statements of intent. When Google in 2011 predicted that ‘the future is mobile’ and Facebook in 2012 stated that ‘we are a mobile company’, it builds market sentiment,” Ranatunga begins.
“It helps mobile specialists like me when talking to non-specialists both internally at Tradedoubler and with clients, who may not understand every aspect of the opportunities that engaging with the mobile channel brings - by adding weight to the channel.”
Ranatunga said while figures like Facebook’s Q2 results help Tradedoubler justify its decision to invest in its pan-European mobile team and tracking technology back in 2011, to take the company into the app space, Ranatunga himself is far more interested in such companies’ strategies which can help him predict where the market is going in the next two to three years.
“Statements that are filled with subtle messages to the market can help me identify new opportunities to explore so that Tradedoubler’s mobile offering is always forward-looking and ahead of the game,” he added.
The Importance of Video
Facebook’s Q2 revenue totalled $1.81 billion, an increase of 53%, compared with $1.18 billion in the second quarter of 2012.
Revenue from advertising was $1.60 billion, which was 88% of total revenue and a 61% increase from the same quarter last year.
Also during Q2, Facebook introduced video for Instagram and saw five million videos uploaded in the first 24 hours.
The update also revealed that its Facebook for Every Phone app has now passed 100 million monthly active users.
The 2004-founded company, also said there have now been more than 100,000 apps built on ‘Parse’; a cloud-based platform that provides scalable cross-platform services and tools for developers to enable them to build apps that span mobile platforms and devices.
Senior mobile and emerging channel specialist at Affiliate Window, Hatice van Leeuwen, said Facebook’s growth numbers on mobile are in line with what the company also sees within its mobile stats – which is why it made tracks to investigate and act on the opportunity of mobile advertising and Facebook.
Also commenting on the US company’s figures was 7thingsmedia’s SEO manager, Ewan Stevenson. He said the most interesting side of Facebook’s update for the London-based agency was the increased saturation of advertisements on Facebook, and the threat this poses to the sustainability and integrity of the entire platform.
“Diversity seems to be the only way to ensure that lucrative revenue streams are maintained, as we can see in more real-world scenarios with movies being released on-demand at the same time as they are released in cinemas, showcasing the need for our content to be served on the audience’s terms,” Stevenson said.