News & Views

What’s the latest at Facebook? And other tech news

It’s been a big week for Facebook, as the company announces its Q2 earnings and brings us up to speed on the progress of its on-going mission to dominate the time and attention of every single human on the planet.

Mobile and messaging:

Video-MAI-AdsOne of the biggest takeaways on Wednesday’s earnings call was Facebook’s mobile growth. Mobile advertising now makes up 76% of its ad revenue, while its mobile user base is up 23% from this time last year. The network now boasts 1.49 billion users, 1.31 billion of whom visit the site each month on mobile devices. “If you look trajectory-wise, this is our most positive quarter for user growth in two years,” says COO Sheryl Sandberg. “What’s really exciting is not just top-line user growth, but how engaged people are.” She points out that 65 percent of Facebook users are visiting the site every day.

Ever since Facebook acquired WhatsApp, investors have been keen to see plans to monetise instant messaging; but CEO Mark Zuckerberg insists that simply inserting ads into conversations on Messenger and WhatsApp is not the way forward. Instead, he wants to give businesses the opportunity to engage with consumers on a deeply contextual level. “The long-term bet is that by enabling people to have good organic interactions with businesses, that will end up being a massive multiplier on the value of the monetisation down the road,” he says.

Video views are also on the up:


Facebook videos generate over 4 billion views every day. “Over 1 million SMBs have posted a video on Facebook,” says Sandberg. Speaking to Re/code, she explained that Facebook can now offer a highly effective alternative to TV advertising: “We have the reach of any other mass media you could buy — the format of video, which marketers have loved for a long time, but also the best targeting out there.”

Facebook Search, meanwhile, is growing at a much slower rate. It’s currently indexing more than 1.5 billion searches each day, but it was processing up to 1 billion each day as far back as September 2012, so Google doesn’t need to worry just yet.

Other stories from the world of tech this week:

  • The first round of reviews for Windows 10 are in, and most people are pleasantly surprised. Upgrading to the new operating system from a Windows 7 or 8 laptop is seamless and easy, with the biggest highlight being the Windows Hello facial recognition login, which is powered by RealSense technology and is available on an array of new hardware models.
  • Pinterest is setting an example for big tech companies and small start-ups alike by partnering with Paradigm to promote diversity. Paradigm specialises in developing diversity strategies that help fast-growing environments foster even greater innovation at every level, by drawing on a broader range of perspectives and ideas.
  • Earlier this year we reported on Project Loon, the Google initiative which brings Wi-Fi to remote corners of the world with the help of giant floating balloons. This week, it was announced that Google will be working with internet providers in Sri Lanka to provide coverage to the entire island nation — meaning the 85% of Sri Lanka’s population which currently has no access will be connected for the first time ever.

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