Facebook caught a great deal of flak when it introduced auto-play videos into the News Feed late last year, but they appear to be working for brands, as Adobe revealed in its Q1 2014 Social Intelligence Report that engagement with those videos was up 58 percent in the first quarter of 2014 compared with the fourth quarter of 2013, and up 25 percent year-over-year.
With Facebook’s first-quarter earnings call set for Wednesday after the close of trading, digital marketing agency 3Q Digital offered a preview of the social network’s potential advertising results by sharing data from its clients across a variety of advertiser objectives and verticals.
Last December, Facebook began prompting users of its flagship iOS application to download its Facebook Messenger app, and the social network also began prompting mobile users to encourage their friends who had not yet downloaded Messenger to do so. Soon, according to reports by TechCrunch and The Verge, Facebook mobile users who wish to chat will not have a choice, as messages will no longer be available in its iOS and Android flagship apps.
Facebook Co-Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg participated in a $40 million funding round in Vicarious, which describes itself as “a secretive artificial-intelligence company,” according to The Wall Street Journal’s Digits blog.
Vivek Wadhwa, a research professor at Stanford University, published a diatribe on LinkedIn a few months ago titled, “Facebook Is Doomed.” Contributing to the debate on the medium- and long-term sustainability of one of the biggest social networks is undoubtedly a healthy endeavor. However, this excessive public statement distinguishes itself with rather frivolous arguments on Wadhwa’s part.
Facebook continued its focus on groups with a revamp of its groups discovery page, including not only top suggestions, but also open and closed groups their friends are members of, as well as groups relevant to the locations listed on users’ profiles.
Facebook’s emphasis on becoming a mobile company is paying off in terms of referrals, as Shareaholic reported that referrals to its network of more than 200,000 sites from Facebook mobile skyrocketed 197 percent in January compared with last September.
Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg spoke with Julia Boorstin of CNBC at The MAKERS Conference in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif., produced by AOL, and she touched on several subjects for segments that will air throughout the business news network’s Business Day programming, including Facebook’s transition to a mobile company, its progress with Madison Avenue, the social network’s A Look Back videos, and Facebook’s focus for the near future.