With over two billion users, Facebook is the most popular social network on the planet. CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s platform for connecting with friends has grown from status updates to live spectacles, chatbots and meetings in virtual reality. Fresh off its second quarter earnings report, let’s break down some of the telling numbers.
A Strong Second Quarter
Revenue in the second quarter of 2017 rose to $9.32 billion, a 45 percent increase over the same quarter in 2016. Facebook’s earnings exceeded predictions by Yahoo Finance ($9.2 billion). Facebook’s global ad revenue is expected to total $36.29 billion this year—up 35 percent from 2016—according to eMarketer, making Facebook the largest ad seller after Google.
About 87 percent of total ad sales in the last quarter was attributed to mobile ads, up from 85 percent in the first quarter of this year. Mobile remains a consistent draw for Facebook, with roughly half of its users accessing the site via mobile devices.
Zuckerberg said he expects video to be the main source of Facebook’s growth in the near future, and that the company is investing heavily in monetizing Messenger and WhatsApp.
Facebook continues its push for video. The company began testing mid-roll ads earlier this year and is preparing advertisers to adopt six-second videos similar to those employed by YouTube. Live broadcasts now make up 20 percent of video on Facebook, according to a post by Fidji Simo, Facebook’s vice president of product. Simo went on to say that the number of broadcasts has grown more than four times over the last year.
The social network is placing a heavy emphasis on gaming video content, particularly the competitive world of esports. PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) developer Bluehole has partnered with Facebook to host a weekly, three-hour livestream show. The Bluehole team will showcase exclusive in-game content on the show and feature both community members and top online creators.
Meet The Faces
Seventy-nine percent of online Americans now use Facebook, according to 2016 figures from Pew Research Center. On a total population basis (accounting for Americans who do not use the internet at all), that means that 68 percent of all US adults are Facebook users, while 28 percent use Instagram.
These users not only use the site but check it often—76 percent of Americans who use Facebook said they visit the site on a daily basis, up from 70 percent in 2015.
American women are more active on the social network, Pew found—83 percent versus males at 75 percent. The largest demographic of Americans on the platform are women ages 18-to-39.
Facebook isn’t too concerned with gender, however, adapting to current views by adding 50 different gender options in the US, and 71 in the UK.
Young consumers are still very active on the social network, despite rumors to the contrary. Over half (53 percent) of millennials say Facebook is where they’re most likely to share content, according to BI Intelligence’s 2017 Digital Trust survey.
A recent study by Fluent found that 48 percent of Gen Z participants log into Facebook several times a day.