Co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg has gone out of his way to mention Facebook’s groups feature during the company’s earnings calls for the third quarter of 2014 and fourth quarter of 2013, hinting during the latter that a stand-alone application might be forthcoming. Forthcoming is now here, as the social network announced the launch of its Facebook Groups app in a Newsroom post Tuesday, saying that the app is available in all countries, for iOS and Android.
Facebook revealed during its third-quarter earnings call Tuesday that $2.96 billion of its $3.2 billion in revenue for the three-month period came from advertising, so it’s no surprise that the bulk of the call was devoted to advertising, as well. Chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg had much to say on the topic, and all her comments are included in this post.
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.