Zuckerberg: Facebook will be cautious with video ads

Steven Loeb · October 30, 2013 · Short URL: https://vator.tv/n/32e6

In conference call, Zuckerberg reiterated core goals of the company and how it's been achieving them

In a conference call following Facebook's the release of pretty awesome third-quarter numbers, Mark Zuckerberg reiterated the three main goals of the company that he outlined during last quarter's call:

  • Connect everyone, which is about connecting everyone in the world to the Internet
  • Understand the world, which mean helping people share more than just data
  • Help build the knowledge economy, which means helping people build companies using information, including those gleamed from advertising tools.

"This framework is how I will think about our progress as a company over the next few years," he said, and he outlined a number of steps that Facebook took during the past quarter in order to achieve these goals.

To achieve the  "connect everyone" goal, Facebook joined with Ericsson, MediaTek, Nokia, Opera, Qualcomm and Samsung to form Internet.org in August. 

The Internet is growing slower than you'd think, he said, and Facebook wants to change this. 

'We think that we are in a unique place to help encourage broader growth of the internet, because so much of what people do on the Internet is use Facebook," Zuckerberg said.

"According to comScore, over 20% of the time that people spend on apps in the U.S. alone is in Facebook services. And when you ask a lot of people in developing countries what service they care about using the most, the answer is often Facebook."

Zuckerberg also pointed to the company's acquisition of Onavo earlier this month, which he said "will help play an important role in making us build more effecient technologies and services that use less data."

To "understand the world," the company has been improving Graph Search, by testing "postage," which allows users to search all of the texts, and posts, that people have ever made on the network. That amounts to around 1.2 trillion posts.

The company has also lauched the Facebook AI Group, to do artificial intelligence research using the knowledge that people have uploaded to the site.

"The goal here is to use new approaches in AI to help make sense of all the content that people share so we can generate new insights about the world to answer people's questions," Zuckerberg said,

Finally, to "help build the knowledge economy," Facebook has been attempting to make its ads more relevant for both the businesses who post them and people who see them. 

"There's still a lot of room to improve the quality of our ads, and grow our business over time, so this is something we are going to keep on investing in going forward."

Video ads

Later on in the call, Zuckerberg was asked a question regarding about putting videos on Instagram, and what they taught him about putting video ads onto Facebook.

Zuckerberg called the experience of putting ads on Instagram "very positive so far," and pointed to it as proof that "autoplay can be a good experience on a feed."

Most importantly, people need to feel that they are in control of the experience by being able to simply scroll away from ads they don't like.

"This is an important launch for Facebook overall because the addition to video content to the stream could be one of the most positive things that we've done in a long time for making it more engaging. But if we do it poorly then it could also be a negative thing," he said. "And we're trying to take our time to make sure we do this in a very positive way, and I'm pretty confident that we will, but that's why you're seeing us take the process that we have on this."

Q3 Numbers

In the earnings report, Facebook posted revenue of $2.02 billion for the quarter, easily beating Wall Street's estimates of $1.91 billion. Revenue went up 60% from $1.26 billion in the third quarter of 2012. Adjusted earnings per share came in at 25 cents in the quarter, higher than the 19 cents a share that analysts had been expecting.

Advertising revenue was $1.08 billion. It increased 66% from the same quarter last year. Mobile accounted for 49% of that revenue.

Revenue from payments and other fees was $218 million for the third quarter of 2013.

GAAP net income was $425 million, compared to a net loss of $59 million for the third quarter of 2012, while non-GAAP net income for the quarter was $621 million, up 100% compared to $311 million for the third quarter of 2012.

Monthly active users (MAUs) were 1.19 billion as of the end of September,  an increase of 18% year-over-year, while mobile MAUs were 874 million, an increase of 45% year-over-year.

Daily active users (DAUs) were 728 million, an increase of 25% year-over-year, while mobile DAUs were 507 million on average.

(Image source: https://technomag.co)

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