Facebook recently reported its fourth quarter earnings for last year, and they’re huge. According to a Facebook community update, it’s managed to rack up 1.59 billion users on a monthly basis, half of which (800 million) utilize its Messenger chat system. In addition, 400 million visit Instagram on a monthly basis, and 900 million utilize the WhatsApp feature.
This is adding up to big bucks, with $5.841 billion in reported revenue for the period, at $.79 earnings per share. These are both increases from the 1.55 billion users and $4.5 billion from the previous quarter.
However, one area where Facebook is really taking off is with video. The company reported that an estimated 100 million hours of video are watched by users monthly – which is a huge statistic, even with the competition that comes from YouTube and Vimeo. That comes out to around 500 million people watching Facebook video on a daily basis.
The company has been working on its video front for some time, something co-founder Mark Zuckerberg proudly touted during the business call. “We’re also exploring ways to give people a dedicated place on Facebook for when they just want to watch videos,” he explained.
The more video that is consumed on the site, the more room there is for the company’s video advertising model, although the company didn’t report specifics when it came to how many earnings came from that.
Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg was also quick to talk about how budgets were starting to shift more in the direction of video. “In terms of replacing TV, we certainly don’t think we’re going to replace any one medium,” she explained. “We do think that eyeballs are shifting, not just from TV but from a lot of other formats, to mobile. And we are positioned very well to not just participate but to lead that shift.”
Sandberg also described how the 2015 holiday season was a “defining moment for mobile marketing,” that was demonstrated by the power of Facebook’s platform. ComScorereported that total US consumer spending on mobile in November and December was up 59 percent year over year. Additionally, more marketers turned to mobile than ever before to reach a global audience.
“Working with their agencies Empower Media Team from Dentsu Aegis Network, Ayzenberg Group, and twofifteenmccann, they understood that people watch video differently in mobile news feed than on TV, so they created videos to capture audience attention in the first 3 seconds, even without sound. They drove over 380 million impressions and 49 million video views in key markets and increased purchase intent by 10 points in the US.”
Bloomberg broke down the numbers in its own report, indicating that, while Facebook is successful, growth may be hard to consider moving forward. “How many companies with $18 billion in yearly sales can increase revenue by more than 50 percent? None. No other company has done that recently,” the report stated.
Still, there’s more room for advertising and other features to grow, and it appears audiences will be sticking around for it. Bloomberg also discusses the gains in revenue that Facebook earns from each user. There was a point where the numbers peaked back in Q4 2013, before dropping back down, but they’re on the rise as ad sales increase across both Facebook and Instagram, backed largely by the social platform’s video features
Regardless of whether or not it’s about to go over the peak again, Facebook is still doing something right in terms of social reach, a modest advertising plan and its booming video content.