A popular storyline lately is that Facebook is failing to capture interest from teens who are turning to Instagram, Snapchat or other services instead.
The conclusion pundits are making — from primarily anecdotal evidence, it should be noted — is that Facebook is on the decline because it is losing a source of new users. What these reports fail to acknowledge is that teens grow up.
Facebook is very likely looking for ways to engage younger users more, and it recognizes that new tech or new attitudes could prevent the social network from gaining hold among the next generation. The company and investors are right to have concerns, but it is also important to recognize that how teens feel about Facebook now is not necessarily how they’ll feel about it when they’re older.
Instagram today announced a new milestone of 100 million monthly active users.
Just a month ago, Instagram surpassed 90 million MAU, but before that, the company only reported registered users not monthly actives. Some had speculated that Instagram might have lost users or seen growth slow after a controversy related to its data use policy, but there hasn’t been any data to indicate that has been the case. Instagram seems to be continuing to gain app downloads, sign-ups, active users and engagement.
Facebook reached 100 million monthly active users in August 2008 – four and a half years after it was founded. Instagram began in October 2010, and has risen very quickly, in part because of the virality of Facebook, plus the new infrastructure and resources that come along with being owned by the social network.
The percentage of Facebook’s monthly active users who use the service daily increased across all regions in Q4 2012, according to an analysis of data the company released last week.
Overall more than 58 percent of Facebook’s 1.056 billion monthly users are also daily active users.
DAU as a percentage of MAU is an important metric to judge engagement and “stickiness.” If the social network were gaining millions of new users but not maintaining a steady DAU over MAU, it would suggest those users were not finding reasons to return as frequently or that existing users were tiring of Facebook. For the most part that hasn’t been happening.
About 69.95 percent of monthly active users in the U.S. and Canada were also daily active users in Q4, which is up slightly from 69.84 percent in Q3, though that’s still a bit below the peak of 70.49 percent in Q1 2012. All other regions surpassed their previous highs in this most recent complete quarter. Europe has a 64.75 DAU over MAU percentage. Asia is at 51.35 percent, and the rest of the world is at 52.96 percent. CFO David Ebersman said on the company’s earnings call last week that mobile usage is a key factor driving the increase in daily engagement. In fact, mobile DAUs surpassed desktop DAUs for the first time in Q4 2012.
More than 50 million pages and 10 million apps are now part of the Facebook platform, according to a document filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission today.
Facebook provided these updated stats after last reporting 42 million pages and 9 million apps in April. Pages are only counted if they have more than 10 Likes. Apps include those on Facebook.com, as well as websites and mobile applications that use Facebook login or other integrations with the social network.
Along with stats about pages and apps, Facebook provided other updated figures for photo uploads and friend connections in its filing today. On average more than 350 million photos per day were uploaded to Facebook in the fourth quarter of 2012. More than 240 billion photos have been shared on the social network. There were also more than 150 billion friend connections among its more than 1 billion users as of Dec. 31, 2012.
On Wednesday, the company reported that it reached 1.056 billion monthly active users during the fourth quarter of 2012. It also reported that its mobile DAUs have exceeded web DAUs for the first time.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg made it clear to investors on Wednesday that 2013 will be a year of growth and innovation, but perhaps not the kind that will help the company’s bottom line in the near future.
“We aren’t operating to maximize our profits this year,” Zuckerberg said on Facebook’s fourth quarter earnings call this week. “We’re doing what we think will build the best service and business over the long term.”
That includes a lot of hiring, especially in the area of product development. Facebook picked up 1,419 additional employees last year, and we’ve heard it plans to hire more than a thousand more this year. Zuckerberg says this is likely to lead the company’s expenses to grow at a faster rate than revenue will.
Facebook today shared new stats on user growth for Q4 in its earnings call earlier today. The social network reported that it has reached 1.056 billion users during the fourth quarter of 2012. It also reported that its mobile DAUs have exceeded web DAUs for the first time.
The graph below shows Facebook’s growth in monthly active users across the globe since its last earnings call in October of last year. The 1.056 billion users amounted to a 24.97 percent increase from Q4 in 2011. The social network continues to see its largest increase in Asia as it gains traction in Japan and other countries.
Instagram today announced that the photo sharing service has 90 million monthly active users and sees 40 million photos uploaded per day.
Instagram had reported 80 million registered users five months ago, and in November, a job listing mentioned that the service had more than 100 million registered users, but the company had never reported monthly active users figures. This latest announcement refutes speculation that Instagram might have lost users after a proposed policy change.
Last month the New York Post reported that Instagram had lost about a quarter of its daily active users, citing data that was not representative of the service’s entire user base and blaming the terms of service controversy. Instagram did not reveal its true DAU count, and Facebook has cut off public access to the data used by the Post.
Instagram did share that its platform experiences 8,500 Likes per second and 1,000 comments per second. That’s up from 575 Likes and 81 comments per second announced in April 2012 when the service had 30 million registered users and 5 million photos per day.
See also: How Instagram Has Grown Since Facebook Announced its Intent to Buy the Company
Nielsen reports stats on Facebook’s dominance in U.S. – Facebook continues its reign as the most-visited social network in the U.S., according to Nielsen. The service has an estimated 152.2 million visitors via PC, 78.4 million mobile app users and 74.3 million mobile web visitors in the U.S. This is multiple times the size of the next largest social sites across each platform. Facebook is also the top U.S. web brand when it comes to time spent on site. About 17 percent of all time spent online via personal computer in the U.S. is on Facebook.
Facebook puts new policy to a final vote – Facebook this week put its proposed Data Use Policy and Statement of Rights and Responsibilities to a user vote, likely for the final time. Part of the social network’s proposed changes include the elimination of the voting mechanism. Unless 30 percent of users participate in the vote and vote against the changes, Facebook will remove the voting option from its governance policy completely. Voting ends on Monday at noon PST.
New Facebook app available for Blackberry - Facebook for BlackBerry smartphones version 3.3 was released this week with BBM integration, faster photo browsing and an option to unfriend people, as well as an overall refreshed look and feel. BlackBerry users can now initiate BBM chats from the Facebook app, add BBM friends to Facebook, share their BlackBerry pin more easily and see which Facebook friends are also on BBM.
Facebook tries customer service via chat - Facebook is testing a way for businesses to receive customer service over Facebook Chat rather than with a phone call. The program has been in testing for a few months, but was first covered by TechCrunch this week. The system is powered by Salesforce, which Facebook uses internally. Some customers will be pleased by the convenience of chat, while others might find it impersonal and frustrating. Overall, it will reduce call center costs for Facebook.
Judge approves Sponsored Stories settlement – A federal judge has approved a $20-million settlement for a class-action suit over Facebook’s Sponsored Stories advertisements. The company will provide a cash payment of up to $10 to Facebook users who objected to the use of their name and photo in Facebook ads. Facebook will also give users more control over these ads, including a way to opt out of being included in them.
Facebook today announced that more than 300,000 pages have promoted 2.5 million posts since Promoted Posts launched for businesses in June. More than one-quarter of those businesses have been new advertisers on Facebook.
The stats, shared Facebook’s Director of Global SMB Markets Dan Levy at BIA/Kelsey’s Interactive Local Media West Conference, show the growth of product meant to make Facebook ad buying more simple for small and medium-sized businesses. Essentially, the promote button asks page owners if they want to pay as little as $5 to sponsor a post they’ve already made and reach more fans and their friends. Page owners do not have to go through the self-serve ad dashboard, which can be overwhelming to a new advertiser.
Levy called out other statistics that show Facebook’s growth among small businesses. There has been a 40 percent increase in active local pages since January, and the number of local business pages using Facebook advertising has nearly doubled. There are now more than 13 million local business pages on Facebook, with 8 million that are active monthly.
According to new stats today, a total of 150 million people visit Facebook pages every day, and nearly half of visits in the U.S. are coming from mobile. This is likely to increase as people use mobile devices more frequently and more businesses begin buying Facebook mobile inventory to drive users to their pages.
Facebook also announced that 3 million page owners are using its mobile page manager app, which launched six months ago. In September, page owners gained the ability to buy Promoted Posts through the mobile app.
Facebook today announced that nearly 200,000 iPhone and Android apps connect with Facebook and 45 percent of the top grossing iOS apps integrate the social network’s SDK, shining light on how the company’s mobile strength goes beyond its own apps.
At our Inside Social Apps conference in New York this week, there was a lot of discussion about which platforms to build on. For many developers, it’s still a common question about whether to build for Facebook or for mobile. Although Facebook does offer a vertical platform where apps can be used within the Facebook.com canvas, what’s often not discussed is how Facebook can be integrated horizontally across any other platform.
“We hear a lot, ‘Should I build a Facebook app or an iOS app, an Android app?’” Facebook’s Director of Platform Partnerships David Fisch said Monday during a fireside chat with Inside Network Managing Editor AJ Glasser. “Facebook is complementary to all of these. Since we’ve started, we’ve talked about how it’s a social layer. It started with web and now moved to mobile. Because there are so many different devices and you want to connect people across them, by definition, Facebook has to be part of all of them.”
An iOS app can be a Facebook app. A mobile website can be a Facebook app. A console game can be a Facebook app. Your car, your shoes, your credit card or your toothbrush can be Facebook apps.
The misperception that Facebook apps are limited to those on Facebook.com contributes to skepticism about the company’s longterm potential, especially on mobile. The market hears that users and developers are turning to “mobile games” over “Facebook games” and starts to count Facebook out. The reality is that nine of the 10 top grossing iOS apps connect with Facebook. The majority of the top Open Graph applications — those using Facebook’s latest sharing features — are open web and mobile integrations. In fact, six of the top 10 apps with the most monthly active users connecting with Facebook aren’t canvas apps. They range from websites to mobile apps to desktop software.
Facebook has been talking about being a “social layer” since 2008, and yet it’s still largely regarded as a single channel for developers. What does Facebook have to do to prove its horizontal platform is worth talking about for every mobile app, website or web-connected device?