Facebook to lose Engineering and Products VP Greg Badros

gregbadrosAccording to AllThingsD, Facebook’s Engineering and Products Vice President, Greg Badros, will leave the company in a few weeks.

Badros, who has been with Facebook for four years, confirmed his departure in a statement:

I’m grateful to Mark and everyone at Facebook for creating an amazing company that provides an enormous ability to have positive impact in the world. I will very much miss the teams I worked with and interacting with such amazing world-class talent every day. Finally, I’m excited to start iterating on what’s next for me: I’ve learned so much over my many years working and leading at each of Facebook and Google. I’m looking forward to finding new ways to continue my positive impact on the world both as an individual and through companies I invest in and advise.

Badros, who was one of five chief product VPs who reported directly to CEO Mark Zuckerberg, has not given a definite departure date nor has he said exactly where he’s going next. With Facebook, Badros was responsible for monetization and advertising products. He also led Facebook’s search efforts.

Facebook issued a statement to AllThingsD regarding Badros:

Greg was a valuable member of Facebook’s team, and we wish him the best of luck in the future.

Image courtesy of AllThingsD.

Facebook launches mobile discovery platform for smaller game developers

DawnOfTheDragons

Facebook is opening up its games ecosystem even further, the company announced Tuesday. Facebook launched a new discovery system so newer and smaller game developers can gain exposure.

Through Facebook Mobile Games Publishing, a pilot program which will help developers grow on mobile, Facebook will help small and medium-sized developers by promoting their games across the company’s mobile apps. By having a more open games ecosystem (which was previously dominated by Zynga), Facebook has found an enhanced revenue stream, as payments from game developers has grown steadily.

Facebook Software Engineer Victor Medeiros announced the news in a blog post:

With more than 800 million monthly users of our mobile apps and more than 260 million people playing games on Facebook, we are using our unique reach and targeting capabilities to help games in our program find and engage a valuable audience of the right users. This program is designed to reach people who already play games on Facebook with new games that may interest them. For example, we will help strategy game fans find strategy games and casual game enthusiasts find casual games.

We are invested in the success of these games, and in exchange for a revenue share, we will be collaborating deeply with developers in our program by helping them attract high-quality, long-term players for their games. We’ll also be sharing analytics tools and the expertise we’ve gained from helping games grow on our platform for more than six years.

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Facebook to announce second quarter earnings July 24

shutterstock_144029236

While it may be too soon to see if the advertising simplification has helped Facebook’s bottom line, it will be interesting to see how the company has done financially in the fiscal second quarter. Facebook will share results from the second quarter, as well as chat with prominent investors, at 2 p.m. PT, Wednesday, July 24.

A live webcast will air on Facebook’s investor website.

During the first quarter report, Facebook announced $1.458 billion in revenue (which was an increase of $1.06 billion compared to the first quarter of 2012). Earnings per share were $0.12.

Facebook highlighted a number of advertising techniques used in the first quarter, such as greater targeting and partner categories. The company will likely discuss its expansion of Facebook Exchange (FBX), and will probably touch upon its advertising flow revamp, but the results from the new ad formats probably won’t be evident until the next quarter.

Readers: What do you think the financial forecast will look like for Facebook?

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

The surprising reason why Coca-Cola is not the No. 1 brand on Facebook

cocacola300-204Being Liberal has 600,000 fans on Facebook. Coca-Cola has 65 million fans — a following 100 times bigger.

Coke has an astronomical annual ad budget and marketing machine.

Being Liberal is just one guy posting content — zero ad budget.

But one of these pages has 800,000 active users. And the other has more than 900,000 active users. Which is which, and how come?

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With acquisition of Atlas complete, Facebook looks to improve ad measurement

atlasFacebook COO Sheryl Sandberg shared today on the company’s first quarter earnings call that its acquisition of Atlas from Microsoft closed last week and that she welcomed the team to Facebook today.

Atlas Advertiser Suite is a platform that advertisers and agencies use to plan, manage, track and optimize their digital marketing. Facebook agreed to buy the platform and Seattle-based team from Microsoft at the end of February.

Sandberg said Atlas is important for its measurement capabilities, not its potential to power an ad network, which many have speculated about. She said Facebook has “no plans” to create an ad network to serve Facebook ads on third-party sites. Atlas will continue to be a tool for advertisers to measure the effect of their online ads on Facebook and other platforms.
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3,800 developers bought Facebook mobile app install ads driving 25M downloads

mobile-developmentFacebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said on today’s first quarter earnings call that mobile app install ads were “one of most important new ad products” the company offers.

COO Sheryl Sandberg pointed out that 3,800 developers used the product to drive a total of 25 million app downloads in the App Store and Google Play. Forty percent of the 100 top-grossing apps for Android and iPhone have advertised on Facebook, Sandberg said.

CFO David Ebersman said that mobile app install ads actually lead to a lot of incremental revenue, as many of these developers are newly spending on the Facebook platform, not just reallocating existing budget to a newer format.
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Facebook earnings preview: changes to ads, payments, gifts and other revenue streams in Q1

facebook logoFacebook plans to announce its 2013 first quarter earnings tomorrow after the stock market closes.

Analysts expect earnings of 13 cents per share on revenue of $1.44 billion during the period of Jan. 1 to March 31. In Q4 2012, which included the holiday season, Facebook had earnings of 17 cents per share on revenue of $1.585 billion.

Here we’ll review the changes Facebook made in the first quarter across each of its areas of monetization.

ads logoAds

Last year advertising made up 84 percent of Facebook’s overall revenue. In the first quarter of this year, the social network introduced new targeting capabilities and made a number of adjustments to the look and performance of its ads. The company also continued to ramp up the amount of ads in News Feed and on mobile, adding a three-in-one “Pages You May Like” unit and a new type of Page-Like ads to the mobile feed.

Partnerships with data vendors Datalogix, Epsilon, Acxiom and BlueKai opened up the opportunities for advertisers to reach new audiences based on third-party data, such as offline purchase behavior. This feature was in limited beta during Q1, but rolled out more widely as “partner categories” earlier this month.

Lookalike Audiences, which help advertisers target users similar to those in their Custom Audience databases, was another exciting new beta feature for advertisers last quarter. Facebook launched it globally in March.

A tool that was available for most advertisers throughout the quarter was conversion tracking. This allows advertisers to measure and optimize their ads leading off-Facebook. It’s particularly important to direct response advertisers and app developers.
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Facebook ‘focused on basics’ for News Feed and mobile ads

jeff-kanterThere’s a vision many people have when they think about mobile advertising. Hyperlocal, real-time, something that incorporates features like text, push notifications, QR codes and GPS.

Facebook News Feed product manager Jeff Kanter says that idea is interesting, but for now, mobile ads can be much simpler and still be effective.

“A lot of people will talk about the holy grail of advertising where you’re walking down the street and your phone is buzzing with alerts about deals around you and a movie’s playing nearby,” he says. “I think it’s an awesome vision and the world will get there, but at this point in time, mobile advertising is working really well because it’s where people are spending their time and it can achieve the same brand objectives that advertisers are trying to do elsewhere.”

Many have imagined Facebook would be well-positioned to lead the way in this “holy grail” future, which would rely on powerful identity and location data, as well as a platform that could reach a large audience with enough frequency. But for the social network, which only got into the mobile ad business one year ago, it’s all about the basics first.
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Facebook gift-givers see new Gifts dashboard

giftsFacebook users who have bought an item through Facebook Gifts are seeing a new dashboard with their purchase history and prompts to buy more gifts for friends.

The dashboard only appears to be available to users who have sent gifts already. Users who have not are directed to an introduction page with a video and more information about Facebook Gifts.

The dashboard page displays upcoming birthdays and friends with recent special events, such as engagements, weddings or births. Users will also see a row of friends, which changes every time they visit the page. Clicking one of these thumbnails opens up the Gifts storefront. Facebook also offers users the option to look through its catalogue without first indicating who they are shopping for by clicking “Browse Gifts” or “Give a Gift.”

gifts-dashboard
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27M users bought virtual goods using Facebook Payments in 2012; Zynga’s influence on revenue further diminishes

gamesApproximately 27 million users bought virtual goods using Facebook Payments in 2012, up from 15 million in 2011, according to a document the company filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission today.

Facebook generated $810 million in payments revenue in 2012. CFO David Ebersman said only $5 million of that came from sources outside of games, such as Gifts and user promoted posts. Overall, payments and other fees revenue in 2012 increased $253 million, or 45 percent, compared to 2011, despite close to doubling the number of users buying virtual goods.

That could be because of Facebook’s promotions to get more users spending money in games. Although the volume of paying users increased, it the amount new payers spend could be much less than other players. Another factor could be growth in international markets. Facebook says 51 percent of its revenue from marketers and developers based in the United States, compared to 56 percent in 2011. This figure includes advertising revenue as well, but international developers are increasingly finding success on the social network and the overall number of international users is growing much faster than in the U.S.
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