Facebook on a roll as advertising jumps 50%
FACEBOOK’S Famobile advertising business grew by more than 50 percent in the second quarter, the company said in its earnings report on Wednesday, as the social network continued to establish itself as the venue of choice for an ever-growing array of online advertisers.
Shares in Facebook, owner of four of the most popular mobile services in the world, rose more than 4 percent to about $173 (R2 251.43) in after-hours trading. By Wednesday’s close, the stock price had climbed nearly 44 percent this year.
Facebook, which now has more than 2 billion regular users, has been squeezing more ads into its Facebook News Feed while adding more ads to its photo-sharing app Instagram, which has more than 700 million users.
With money cascading from those two services, chief executive Mark Zuckerberg said the company was turning attention to monetising its two messaging services, Messenger and WhatsApp, which have more than 1 billion users each.
“I want to see us move a little faster here, but I’m confident that we’re going to get this right over the long term,” Zuckerberg said in a conference call with analysts.
The company also is accelerating its push into video, an effort aimed at taking advertising dollars from the television industry and increasing the time people spend on Facebook.
Within weeks, Facebook is expected to start a video service that will include scripted shows, a sharp change for a business built on user-generated content.
Zuckerberg said video would be a significant driver of Facebook’s business in the next two to three years.
With those possibilities still on the horizon, Facebook said total revenue rose 44.8 percent to $9.32 billion in the second quarter of the year. That beat the average forecast of $9.20bn among analysts tracked.
Growth was even steeper in mobile advertising, which increased to nearly $8bn.
“In mobile we’re continuing to see great strengths,” Facebook chief financial officer David Wehner said. “We’re seeing more and more ad dollars getting allocated to mobile, and we think that trend will continue.”
Mobile ad revenue accounted for 87 percent of the company’s total advertising revenue of $9.16bn in the latest quarter, up from 84 percent a year earlier.