Facebook certainly does a good job of staying in the press. I suppose that’s to be expected from a service that over one billion people use around the world. Late yesterday the company released fourth quarter numbers to the public. There are some interesting numbers and interesting reactions to this data, so let’s take a look at the info.
Mobile Revenues Increase (but Not Enough?)
According to Seth Fiegerman at Mashable, “Facebook’s fourth quarter earnings results beat estimates,” but despite this their stock is down in after hours trading. At this point I’m starting to think that Wall Street is just hard on Facebook compared to other companies; at least, that’s what it looks like sometimes!
More impressive – and more important – are where Facebook’s revenues came from this time around. Jeff Bercovici at Forbes reports, “23% of Facebook’s ad revenues now come from mobile ads.” This is way up from last quarter’s meager 14%, and I think it’s a good sign that mobile is starting to take hold on Facebook. There were a lot of concerns that Facebook wouldn’t be able to make money on mobile ads without being too intrusive with ads. Apparently users haven’t had a problem with the way the company is doing things. I know it hasn’t been an issue for me.
Zuckerberg himself stated “In 2012, we connected over a billion people and became a mobile company.” Fcebook’s revenues broke the $5 billion mark, too. They’ve certainly laid the groundwork for a strong 2013, at least outside of Wall Street.
Facebook has just opened down about 7% this morning as of opening bell. For a company that has consistently earned a healthy profit and consistent increased in revenues to always be hit on Wall Street perplexes me. But that’s probably why I’m not working on Wall Street. Don Reisinger at CNet hints that the reason the company’s shares are down “might have more to do with the ability for Facebook shares to actually grow and less to do with its performance.” It looks like most analysts see Facebook hovering around $30-$35 a share for the foreseeable future.
Facebook’s Future Plans
Facebook still has a lot going for them. This is in stark contrast to where the company was a year ago, struggling to show analysts and consumers that it can continue earning more profits and growing. Josh Constine at TechCrunch writes that thanks to Facebook’s swath of data from users’ searches, friends, apps, likes, and actions, “Facebook has the means to let advertisers pinpoint their audience.”
Making the ability to pinpoint audiences easier for businesses and agencies will help them feel more confident about advertising on Facebook, whether they use mobile or desktop ads. Knowing you can reach an audience who are more likely to engage in your advertisement and turn clicks into conversions is a strong impetus to use the ads.
Additionally, Anthony Ha writes on another TechCrunch piece that Facebook “has been incorporating ‘bigger pictures, richer media’ in the news feed.” This will help improve the quality and type of media available for prospective advertisers, especially those that aren’t used to catering their advertising to a Facebook-friendly version.
Facebook Always a Viable Advertising Option
Facebook has been consistently demonstrating that its mobile expansion and its business model is working. The user-base is there and as they continue to improve their analytics tools, I can see the platform only increasing in online ad relevance. It might not beat out Google any time soon, but it’s going to be an even stronger player in ads in 2013 than it ever has been.
Are you planning to increase advertising on Facebook in 2013?
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