Facebook beat analyst expectations again in Q3, posting 47% year-over-year (YoY) growth in revenue to surpass $10 billion for the first quarter ever. Facebook has beaten analyst expectations every quarter since March 2013.
The world’s largest social network experienced solid growth on the user front — the company’s daily active users (DAU) reached 1.37 billion and its monthly active users (MAU) reached 2.07 billion, both accelerating 16% YoY.
During the earnings call, CEO Mark Zuckerberg highlighted several areas that Facebook plans to double down on over the next three to 10 years to continue its streak. Here are some of the company’s mid- to long-term goals:
- Expand Messenger and WhatsApp to be at the center of business-to-consumer (B2C) communication. The company continues to disrupt traditional B2C communication methods with Messenger. Already, there are more than 20 million businesses engaging with consumers via the platform. And Facebook is striving to foster the same success on WhatsApp — earlier this year, it introduced verified accounts to help businesses engage with consumers. These platforms could eventually pull users away from traditional modes of B2C interaction, including email and voice calls.
- Bring virtual reality (VR) to the mainstream by addressing the cost-prohibitive nature of the VR market. At Facebook’s Oculus Connect event during the quarter, the company announced Oculus Go, a $199 stand-alone headset that doesn’t require any additional wires or external power sources. The Facebook-owned VR company also slashed the price of its leading immersive headset, the Oculus Rift, by 33% to $399. These moves have already impacted the VR market, with other vendors like HTC reducing their VR headset prices to match the competition.
- Build out its Workplace Chat, Facebook’s answer to the office collaboration market. Less than a year since launch, Workplace already boasts 30,000 businesses on the platform, up over 100% from 14,000 businesses in April, and up 2,900% YoY. The platform’s strong growth indicates that Facebook’s recent efforts to improve it have paid off, and suggests that the company will continue to invest in Workplace’s development in the quarters to come.
Facebook also emphasized the importance of artificial intelligence (AI) across all its divisions. Facebook plans to leverage AI to optimize the security of its core offerings by detecting harmful content and finding fake accounts. It’s already used the tech to upgrade its Messenger platform 2.1, enabling developers to create more functional and conversational bots, and has invested in the space.
Although Facebook is playing catch-up — Amazon, Apple, Google, and Microsoft have all established a presence in the market, and they’re rapidly gaining mindshare among consumers — Facebook is working on building out its AI capabilities. The company recently opened its fourth AI lab in Montreal, and soon plans to open another in Paris.
Kevin Gallagher, research analyst for BI Intelligence, Business Insider’s premium research service, has put together a report on social media demographics that highlights the key audience demographics for six major social platforms: Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. It also:
- Breaks down the reach of social platform audiences in terms of age, income, education, and gender.
- Examines how time spent and monthly users across major age brackets have changed in the past three years.
- Explores the preferences of US teens and young millennials, and how they’re changing.
- Identifies the most important demographic changes that advertisers should monitor as social platforms continue to grow.