We all knew Facebook was huge. We all knew that a ton of people use Facebook on a regular basis. Now we know the true numbers from Q1 2013 and they’re probably bigger than you might have expected.
According to their public results release, Facebook had 1.11 billion monthly active users as of the end of March, a number that represents the people who logged into Facebook at least once in a 30-day period. The daily active users is arguably more impressive, nearing 2/3rds of a billion people at 665 million who log in every day. That’s a lot of cheddar potential for the company with the numbers representing a 26% and 23% increase year-over-year respectively.
The increase in top line revenue is just as impressive, showing a 38% increase year-over-year from $1.058 billion last year to $1.458 billion this year. 85% of the revenue came from advertising and represented a 43% increase YoY.
What does all this mean for investors, users, and businesses using Facebook for advertising? In short, it’s a good sign. The longer answer is this – businesses are starting to have more faith in the reach potential of Facebook. Like television, Facebook isn’t a destination venue for shopping. People don’t say, “Hmmm, I wonder what sort of car sales are out there today. Let’s turn on the television.”
Despite this, it apparently still works. Television advertising is holding strong and Facebook advertising is on the rise despite the fact that venues like Google offer more direct advertising options. One can target people specifically looking for a car through Google, but Facebook and television offer a branding and call-to-action potential nonetheless. It comes down to mentality. People go to Facebook or turn on the television to be entertained in some way. Getting an advertising message to them while their mind is in this state allows for messages to get through without the target being fully engaged with the content. It works because it basically sneaks its way into the psyche. Branding, branding, branding, right?
Regardless of whether or not its effective, advertisers are willing to give it a shot. The increase in active daily and monthly users signals that the ads aren’t turning people off the way that some had assumed. At one point, advertising on television was discouraged. Companies sponsored shows themselves rather than have their messages inserted between segments, but that model died off. Now, ads are expected on network television. Is the same shift happening on Facebook?
It would appear so.