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Facebook reports 1 billion monthly active users on mobile in Q3 2016


21 Jun 2013
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Facebook has announced its earnings for the third quarter of 2016 ending on September and has reported an overwhelming $7 billion in revenues. Looking at the earnings for the quarter, Facebook has seen a growth at almost every front, and has been mainly driven by the mobile platform. The Q3 2016 earnings’ highlight is that Facebook has crossed the one billion mark for Monthly Active Users (MAUs) on mobile only with 1.66 billion users. In the previous quarter, Facebook had 967 million monthly active users on mobile, and it was predicted that Facebook would reach the one billion mark this quarter.

Just to make things clearer, mobile-only MAUs are those users who accessed Facebook only on mobile apps or mobile versions of the website, or used the Messenger app. More importantly, this figure does not include Instagram and WhatsApp users. In totality, Facebook had 1.79 billion MAUs for the third quarter, so this means that out of the 1.79 billion, 1.66 billion were solely mobile users.

Stressing on mobile usage again, in the second quarter of 2016, Facebook had reached the one billion mark for Daily Active Users (DAUs) on mobile with 1.33 billion. As of the third quarter, Facebook has increased the number with 1.09 daily active users on mobile. On the daily usage of Facebook on mobile phones, David M Wehner, CFO of Facebook says, “Mobile continues to drive our growth, with 1.09 billion people accessing Facebook on mobile on an average day in September, up approximately 197 million or 22 percent compared to last year.”

The Q3 earnings further reported that 1.18 billion DAUs for September 2016, which is an increase of 17 percent or 172 million year-over-year. In the previous quarter, Facebook had 1.13 billion daily active users. Moving ahead, Facebook had 1.79 billion monthly active users as of September 2016. A relatively slow increase can be seen, as in the second quarter it had 1.71 billion monthly active users.

Facebook’s growing users base shows its continued dominance in the social media playground. It is a known fact that Facebook leads in terms of social media, but this also shows how its competition is still on a slow pace of growth in terms of users. New York Times reports that Twitter, after adding four million new visitors last quarter, now stands with one-sixth the size of Facebook’s user base. Snapchat, which has around 150 million daily users, accounts for around half of Twitter’s user base.

This year has been all about mobile usage for Facebook, and as more and more people shift towards mobile, the numbers will also increase. The growth can also be attributed to India, which is one of the top Facebook nations. Back in May this year, Facebook had revealed that it had over 142 million users in India, of which about 133 million access the social media platform through their mobile phones. Dominance of the mobile platform is also seen in Facebook’s earnings report for the previous quarter.

Talking about its earnings, Facebook generated revenue of $6,816 million in advertising which totaled to $7,011 million with payments and other fees. From the total revenue, Facebook reported a profit of $1.09 per share. The year-over-year change in this segment is a huge 59 percent as the 2015 Q3 earnings reported total revenue for $4,299. Here’s where it gets interesting as it was mostly garnered out of mobile use. Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer of Facebook, sheds some light on this by saying, “Mobile ad revenue reached $5.7 billion, up 70 percent year-over-year, and was approximately 84 percent of total ad revenue.”

This clearly shows highlights the plentiful use and accessing of Facebook on mobile phones and also how advertising companies are now deeply focused on mobile advertising. As more and more content is consumed through mobile phones, it only makes sense to shift one’s advertising and marketing aspects to mobile phones. This in turn profits heavily for social networking sites like Facebook, which its earnings already speak for.

Sandberg further comments, “We continue to focus on our three priorities: capitalizing on the shift to mobile; growing the number of marketers using our ad products; and making our ads more relevant and effective.” Talking about the major focus of ads on mobile devices from TVs, Sandberg says, “First, capitalizing on the shift to mobile, people have shifted to mobile, and we remain focused on helping businesses catch up. We know that marketing shifts take time. The first TV ads showed people standing in front of microphones reading their radio ads. Similarly, many of the first mobile video ads were TV ads dropped into mobile. Ads optimized for each platform often perform better, so marketers are increasingly tailoring their creative for mobile.”

While mobile ads have been the top source of revenues for Facebook, the social may giant will however look towards a new direction for revenues. Looking at the recent additions to the platform and comments from top executive including founder Mark Zuckerberg , videos are going to be the next big thing for the company. “We had another good quarter. We’re making progress putting video across our apps and executing our 10 year technology roadmap,” Zuckerberg commented.

Meanwhile, Wall Street Journal reports that Facebook is unlikely to give more push to mobile ads from next year, and that it is likely to focus on increasing user base and improving users experience, and time spent on the platform.

Facebook reports 1 billion monthly active users on mobile in Q3 2016
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