Facebook published its latest financial results yesterday, posting strong numbers across the board. But the most interesting number was more anecdotal, about what people are doing on the world’s biggest social network.
“Video now accounts for almost half of all-time spent on Facebook,” CEO Mark Zuckerberg told analysts in the company’s earnings call. “And Reels is already the largest contributor to engagement growth on Instagram.” He later added that “on-demand video like in Facebook Watch is also growing quickly and is now growing faster than in other types of video or content in News Feed”.
There’s an irony here: a number of media organisations infamously ‘pivoted to video’ a few years ago, partly because they thought it would help them prosper on platforms like Facebook. It ended badly for many of them, but the pivot to video seems to be working out nicely for Facebook. The house always wins, as they say.
As for the financials: Facebook’s revenues grew by 56% year-on-year to $29.08bn in the second quarter of 2021, helping the company to a net profit of $10.39bn. It now has 1.91 billion daily active users, 2.9 billion monthly active users, and its wider family of products (including Instagram, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger) are now used by 3.51 billion people a month.