Facebook Latest Quarterly Results: A Platform In Rude Health
Despite an almost unending stream of bad press in 2018 Facebook ended the year on a high, beating Wall Street’s expectations with its fourth-quarter results, announced yesterday.
The scandal-riddled behemoth hit 2.32 billion monthly users, up 2.2% on the third quarter, speeding up its growth rate. Facebook climbed to 1.52 billion daily active users with a 2% growth rate.
Facebook’s daily to monthly user ratio, or stickiness, held firm at 66% where it’s been for years. Demonstrating that despite often protestations to the contrary, everyone’s got a friend who left Facebook and came crawling back, users are still heavily invested in the platform.
In further pleasing news for Big Dogg Zuckerberg, Facebook managed to monetise our eyeballs, data and pictures of our families to the tune of $16.91 billion for the quarter. That’s a 30% year-on-year uptick.
Not too shabby for 15-year-old firm.
2019 Will be Facebook’s Year Of Innovation
Although Facebook’s KPIs ended the year on a high, it still spent 2018 in the dog-house.
User trust is in the gutter; regulators have it in the crosshairs; international provocateurs are still causing problems and the global media, whose business model Facebook has destroyed, are giving them a kicking.
Which, to be fair, is largely deserved.
After a year on the defensive Facebook is looking to kick on with a more proactive stance in 2019. Naturally still working to put out perpetually smouldering fires, but focusing more on innovation and product development in 2019.
Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, claims the platform-wide rollout of Stories (which they ripped off from Snapchat) was its last major innovation.
‘Delivering new experiences’ is one of his major 2019 priorities.
Zuck's Facebook Focus Areas For This Year
If Facebook can deliver even half of the new experiences, Zuckerberg has promised, 2019 will offer a bonanza of new marketing features and opportunities for fatigued marketers.
Based upon yesterday’s results, five of the more interesting areas for marketers might be:
- Expansion of Messaging features and integration between Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram
- Continued development of Stories and new co-watching video experiences
- Groups becoming an even more central organising function on Facebook
- Facebook Watch's growing popularity as more video is moved there from the News Feed
- Instagram commerce and new shopping features to be launched
If 2018 put marketers in a squeeze, 2019 looks to be opening up again.
Intelligent implementation of new Facebook features and functions should help marketers regain much of the lost organic ground, over recent years. Hopefully, making it less of a pay-to-play environment, which it has increasingly moved towards in recent years.
Things on the advertising front, however, seem a little less straightforward.
With millions of more advertisers pilling into Facebook each year, there are currently 7 million advertisers on the platform, competition for eyeballs/clicks is fierce.
Much like Facebook itself, marketers need to innovate and inject fresh ideas into their 2019 Facebook advertising plans to ensure escalating costs to do not blow-out of control.
Marketers not looking to break the bank this year should look to break new ground instead.