Is Facebook Coming Out On Top Again?

Following a challenging year, Facebook not only beat Wall Street expectations and announced 500 million daily users of Instagram Stories but they are also teasing us with new products joining the Facebook family.

Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg assured investors this week that things are going well for the company when he noted this quarter, “We’ve fundamentally changed how we run our company to focus on the biggest social issues, and we’re investing more to build new and inspiring ways for people to connect.” This comes as, despite a challenging year, Facebook hit 2.32 billion monthly users, up 2.2 percent from 2.27 billion last quarter and saw shares in the company shoot up in Q4.*Source: TechCrunch

This combined with the news that nearly half of Instagram’s one billion users now use Stories every day, 2 million advertisers buying Stories ads across Facebook’s properties, the bringing together of messaging platforms into one space and Mark Zuckerberg outlining several areas for Facebook to push new products this year has got those of us in the social media business on the edge of our seats.

These Instagram Stories stats are pretty mind-boggling. Just look at this growth rate:

*Source: TechCrunch

Things just never stay still in this fast moving landscape, and this is what Zuckerburg is outlining for the year ahead:

  • Encryption and ephemerality will be added to more features for security and privacy
  • Messaging features will make Messenger and WhatsApp “the center of [your] social experiences”
  • WhatsApp payments will expand to more countries
  • Stories will gain new private sharing options
  • Groups will become an organizing function of Facebook on par with friends & family
  • Facebook Watch will become mainstream this year as video is moved there from the News Feed, Zuckerberg expects
  • Augmented and virtual reality will be improved, and Oculus Quest will ship this spring
  • Instagram commerce and shopping will get new features

The Facebook family apps is made up of Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and WhatsApp with a combined total of 2.7 billion monthly users. Facebook CFO David Wehner says “Over time we expect family metrics to play the primary role in how we talk about our company and we will eventually phase out Facebook-only community metrics.”

As ever, there are exciting times ahead in the world of social media - watch this space!

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