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Facebook’s Internet.org claims 50 Million users in Q4 2016


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A significant amount of Facebook’s 396 million Daily Active Users (DAUs) in Asia Pacific region are logging onto Facebook via Internet.org, the company’s CFO Devid Wehner mentioned in a recent analyst call. Internet.org currently claims to connect over 50 million users. Wehner added that other factors helping Facebook acquire more users in APAC include “Android product improvements” and the Facebook Light app which provides a compressed version of the platform.

Wener particularly pointed out that during the quarter ended December 2016 (Q4 2016), “an increase in third party promotional free data plans in places like India” had an impact in user additions in APAC market. “India was our strongest growth market,” Wener added without providing any specific numbers. Facebook added 28 million new DAUs in APAC region during Q4 2016, which is the higher than the additions in Europe and US & Canada markets.

Some takeaways from the company’s analyst call:

Focus on video

The company’s CEO Mark Zuckeberg said during the call that Facebook will focus more on video features by “putting video first across our family of apps and making it easier for people to capture and share video in new ways.” Video recommendations feature, which was recently rolled out in U.S will soon be available in newer markets. Zuckerberg also mentioned that Facebook is trying to make content more relevant to users and drive engagement by showing them videos produced by professional creators. “Last year we started to invest in more original video content to help seed the ecosystem, and we’re planning to do more in 2017.

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65 million businesses pages created till date

Facebook’s COO Sheryl Sandberg said during that the platform now has over 65 million businesses using Pages and another 5 million businesses registered on Instagram business profiles. Out of this, 4 million businesses are directly advertising on Facebook, while 500,000 businesses run ads on Instagram. During Q4 2016, the top 100 advertisers on Facebook generated less than a quarter of its ad revenue, which is down from the same quarter last year.

Sandberg, however, pointed out that most advertisers prefer mobile (especially mobile video), and this reflects on their ad revenues. The company’s mobile advertising revenue represented approximately 84% of advertising revenue during Q4 2016, up from 80% of advertising revenue in the same quarter last year.

Growth in messaging

Facebook-owned Instagram now has over 400 million daily active users, and Instagram stories reached 150 million daily active users during the quarter. The company’s standalone messaging service “Messenger” now has over 400 million people using voice and video chat features every month. WhatsApp recently reached 1.2 billion monthly active users with more than 50 billion messages being sent every day.

Investment in Virtual Reality

Zuckerberg mentioned during the call that the company is investing in Virtual Reality (VR) applications like its Oculus VR platform, which is also accessible through Samsung Gear VR glasses. “We’re going to keep making big investments in VR content, and I’m excited about what’s coming in 2017—from new games to more immersive educational experiences,” added Zuckerberg.

Operating metrics:

– Daily active users (DAUs) – 1.23 billion for December 2016, an increase of 18% YoY
– Mobile DAUs – 1.15 billion for December 2016, an increase of 23% YoY
– Monthly active users (MAUs) – 1.86 billion as of 31 December 2016, an increase of 17% YoY
– Mobile MAUs – 1.74 billion as of 31 September 2016, an increase of 21% YoY

Segmented Revenues:

-Overall revenue for Q4 2016 was $8.8 billion, up 51% YoY from $5.84 billion.
-Advertising Revenue stood at $8.62 billion for the quarter, up 53% YoY.
-Other revenues from payments and fees stood at $180 million for the quarter, down 12 YoY

Financials and other highlights

-Overall income from operations were $4.56 billion during Q4 2016, up 78% YoY.
-Net Income (Profits) stood at $3.56 billion during the quarter, up 128% YoY.
-Overall ARPU was $4.83 for the quarter, up from $3.73 in the same quarter last year
-US & Canada ARPU was $19.81 for the quarter, up from $13.70 in the same quarter last year
-Europe ARPU stood at $5.98, up from $4.56 in same quarter last year.
-Asia Pacific ARPU was $2.07 for the quarter, up from $1.6 in same quarter last year.

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