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Dublin: 6 °C Friday 13 December, 2019
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Facebook is growing and growing - and it has some new things in store

The only way Facebook is heading is up.

You'd be delighted too if your company made €3.6 billion in revenue in three months.
You'd be delighted too if your company made €3.6 billion in revenue in three months.
Image: AP Photo/Manu Fernandez

FACEBOOK CONTINUES TO grow and grow, but it warns that this rapid growth in revenue will slow down “modestly” for the rest of the year.

Not that you would think that when you look at the figures from the second quarter of this year. Some of the stats are pretty significant and show just how far it’s come since it launched 11 years ago.

To start off:

  • There are 1.49 billion people on Facebook each month. 
  • An average of 968 million people are on it each day. That’s 65% of monthly users.
  • In June, roughly 1.31 billion people access Facebook on mobile devices.
  • More than one out of every five minutes spent on smartphones in the US are on Facebook apps.

The numbers of people using its extended apps are also rather impressive.

  • There are 800 million people on WhatsApp each month.
  • There are 700 million people on Facebook Messenger each month.
  • There are 300 million people on Instagram each month.
  • 850 million people use Groups on Facebook.
  • 450 million people use Events on Facebook.

There are more than 1.5 billion searches daily (Google has roughly 3.5 billion searches per day, but searches on Facebook are usually for people or posts), and it has indexed more than two trillion posts on the site.

As for the money, mobile ad revenue continues to grow, making up 76% of its ad business and generating $2.9 billion (€2.6 billion) in revenue.

  • It generated $4 billion (€3.6 billion) in revenue in the April to June period.
  • It made $3.8 billion (€3.5 billion) through ad revenue (it has over two million advertisers buying ads on Facebook).
  • It now has $1.3 billion (€1.2 billion) in free cash flow.
  • It has $14.1 billion (€12.8 billion) in cash and investments.

Those numbers only tell part of the story, considering it has many other projects it’s focusing on.

About its venture into virtual reality and Oculus Rift (which will arrive in the first quarter of 2016), Zuckerberg sees two use cases that will certainly help it out. The first is video which he believes will be huge.

The second is gaming, both areas that Facebook has some experience with. As people’s tastes for more complex mediums develop, so too will the ways to present them.

There’s this continued progress of people getting richer and richer ways to share what’s on their minds. So if you go back ten years, most of how people communicated and shared was text. We’re going through a period where now it’s mostly visuals and photos. We are entering a period where that’s going to be primarily video and we’re seeing huge growth there.
But that’s not the end of the line. There’s always a richer way that people want to share and consume thoughts and ideas and I think that immersive 3D content is the obvious thing after video.

Its immediate plans for video is to continue to grow autoplay video, and experiment with suggested videos, but it’s looking at monetising through feed ads for video.

When asked about its eCommerce plans, Facebook’s Chief Operating Officer (COO) Sheryl Sandberg said it was still in very early days, and the focus was more on “connecting consumers with marketers so that they can buy from companies.”

Payments company Stripe, which is owned by Limerick brothers Patrick and John Collison, is said to be powering its buy button. The company now has a value of €4.5 billion.

Read: Don’t want to wait for Windows 10 to arrive? Here’s how to speed up the process >

Read: You can be really lazy now when wishing someone a happy birthday on Facebook >

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About the author:

Quinton O'Reilly

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