We’ve often said that Facebook is the largest nation on the planet. Nowadays, Facebook practically is its own planet.
Consider this: the user base of Facebook according to their 2Q 2015 earnings is 1.49 billion people. The entire population of planet Earth was about the same in 1900.
Let’s dig into their results some more.
As mentioned above: almost 1.5 billion people use Facebook monthly, and Facebook growth has leveled to about 3% quarter over quarter:
Of that, almost 90% – 9 out of 10 people – use Facebook at least partly on a mobile device each month, as shown by the orange bars below:
In the conference call, COO Sheryl Sandberg remarked that 1 out of every 5 minutes spent on smartphones in the US was spent on Facebook. That’s an astonishing number. No other product or service attracts 20% of the attention of the national audience every single day that we know of.
In fact, of those who use a mobile device to access Facebook, nearly half use ONLY a mobile device to access Facebook, as shown by the red bars below:
For half of Facebook’s users, your mobile marketing strategy is synonymous with your Facebook strategy.
In what is becoming an unsurprising story, Facebook also grew its revenue significantly; below, every region showed 2Q revenue growth from advertising:
In fact, Facebook’s revenue jumped 15.38% quarter over quarter, above its quarterly average of 11%.
Looking Forward: What Should You Do?
Facebook, stronger than ever, is the unquestioned leader in social networks. What have they got on tap that we as marketers and communicators must pay attention to? First, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said Facebook is on track to deliver Oculus VR in early 2016. If you haven’t already begun to experiment with virtual reality, 360 degree video, etc. then you have about a 6 month runway to get up to speed. Even if you don’t develop internal capabilities, now is the time to begin forging relationships with vendors and partners to have capabilities available for launch. You’ll want to examine development platforms like Unity to start.
Second, Facebook continues to push advancements in its advertising systems. COO Sheryl Sandberg talked about the expansion of carousel ads, dynamic product ads, and their new lead generation ads, as well as its conversion lift measurement system. The big announcement she had was that Instagram ad inventory was going to become more widely available to advertisers and third party partners. Look for Instagram to start popping up in your ad network exchanges and demand-side platforms in the future, which is great news for marketers who have paid media as part of their overall media strategy.
Finally and unsurprisingly, video remains central to Facebook’s strategy of engagement. Zuckerberg made mention that Pages are sharing 40% more videos since the beginning of 2015; the News Feed algorithm was also tweaked to favor video more prominently. Sandberg focused on the expansion and traction of video ads. If you haven’t tried out video ads on Facebook in addition to publishing your videos natively on the platform, get on that train before it’s completely left the station.
For marketers, this planet is Facebook’s. We just work here.
Christopher S. Penn
Vice President, Marketing Technology