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While Facebook users may be worried about sharing content about deceased lions or twists on the Bachelorette, closing the gap between time spent on Facebook and conversion is integral to the health of the social network for marketers.
CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s opening remarks at yesterday’s second quarter earnings call talked about Facebook’s strategy: “Capitalizing shift to mobile, growing Facebook marketers, and making ads more relevant and effective.”
There are roughly two million advertisers on Facebook. COO Sheryl Sandberg did not go into specifics about number of paying partners integrating their business’ back-end with Atlas, Facebook’s ad server, but she did talk about the onboarding process.
Because it is an enterprise sale, partners need to migrate their system in order to fully track all interactions to capture sales funnel activity. Long story short: the Facebook team is still working on it, and it’s going to take some time for them to iron out the wrinkles.
“Our focus is on people-based marketing, to connect online marketing and business outcomes, with real sales and real products. We’re going to put in the time to make this work,” Sandberg said.
Booking.com was the first brand Facebook mentioned on the earnings call in order to praise its success with a Book Now button. “In Q2 they saw meaningful booking results and they’re expanding Facebook ads across multiple markets,” said Sandberg.
The actual campaign results were not provided but the sentiment was positive to neutral. “We are always testing new marketing channels and Facebook is one of many partners we will continue to work with,” a Booking.com spokesperson told Skift.
With more than 46 minutes being spent per day by 844 million daily active users (DAUs) — which accounts for nearly 75 percent of its 1.49 billion monthly active users (MAUs) — Facebook is clearly in a good position to cultivate its focus on people-based marketing online and on mobile. Its 1.31 billion monthly mobile active users was up from 23 percent last year.
Despite having a huge chunk of the market share, Facebook still reports strong growth year-over-year and its ads impact on mobile is strong. Mobile advertising revenue represented approximately 76 percent of total advertising revenue for the second quarter, up from 62 percent from the year prior.
Instagram, Messenger, and WhatsApp closed the quarter with 300 million, 700 million, and 800 million MAUs, respectively.
Facebook is slowly rolling out ads on Instagram and it doesn’t have results to share on whether or not people are loving or hating the experience. The recent Search & Explore page update provides a diversion from seeing sponsored posts on Instagram’s homepage. However, due to its size, “Instagram is going to take time to have a significant impact on growth,” said Sandberg.
The growth in user-base, engagement and ad revenue was attributed to News Feed and video. Facebook reported that Pages were sharing 40 percent more videos from the last quarter. “Our video demand is very deep,” said Sandberg.
Total video views and time spent watching videos were not disclosed during the call.
CEO Mark Zuckerberg is convinced that virtual reality is the next evolution of video. He announced that Oculus Rift will ship first quarter 2016 and hopes to spark early adoption. Travel brands like British Airways, Marriott, and Destination British Columbia are ahead of the game.
Facebook’s partnership with ZenDesk, which provides customer service and e-commerce via Messenger, and updates with LiveRail’s progress on integrating and serving ads on third-party video players were not touched on during the call.