Facebook Inc (FB) Is No Fluke

Everything I said about Facebook back then still applies today. They truly have cracked the code and advertising will never be the same.

Revenue surged 61% in this year’s second quarter to $2.91 billion, up from $1.81 billion a year earlier.

Even more stunning: Wireless devices accounted for 62% of Facebook’s ad sales last quarter. Those tiny little screens no one can read turned out to be more efficient than desktop computers — at least according to ad buyers.

Mobile ad sales were almost zero when Facebook went public in May 2012. At this rate, they will be at $1 billion a month before we get to 2015.

How does Facebook do it? You already know if you ever use their app on a mobile device. You see a never-ending stream of baby pictures, funny cats, and interesting news, all nicely arranged into little boxes.

Every so often, one of those boxes is “sponsored“ by a business. Most of the time, we scroll right by… but enough of us stop and click to make the ads cost-effective. Companies keep buying them.

Notice something else about the ads. Usually you have some kind of connection with the company or product. Facebooks knows your friends, your interests, and your preferences. It tries to show you ads that you won’t find annoying. (And it lets you tell Facebook if you do find them annoying.)

Advertisers “like“ Facebook and other online promotions because they get instant feedback. Either people click or they don’t. Either people buy or they don’t.

Facebook works because it has balance. The ads aren’t intrusive. Quite the contrary; the ads arerelevant to users. That’s why they work.

Nothing in life is free, even Facebook. You get funny cat photos and give up some of your privacy in return. Facebook has a dark side — but so do newspapers, TV networks and theme parks. Bad things happen in all those places.

A virtual “place“ is exactly what Facebook has become. It is where people gather to talk and share. Far-flung families can stay connected in ways that were once impossible.

In the last week, Facebook was the global platform for mourning and remembering the Flight MH17 victims. We all wish the tragedy hadn’t happened — but it did, and Facebook helped people cope.

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