Now that the groundhog has seen his shadow, everybody has seen the Super Bowl commercials, and the Superb Owl got its 15 minutes of fame. it’s time to get back to work and discuss the news and trends from this week that will make you a better content marketer and creator. Here is your football and animal-free look at the items you need to keep on your radar this week.
Facebook pushes aggressive 2019 plans to rise from the ashes
Facebook had a rough 2018. You know it. Your friends know it. Facebook definitely knows it. But despite a drama-filled 2018, the social behemoth has entered into 2019 with momentum thanks to an impressive fourth quarter finish. And even though people have been predicting the demise of Facebook for years, the company appears to be stronger than ever, according to the company’s end-of-year results conference call last week.
So, what’s the reason for Facebook’s optimism — especially considering its tumultuous 2018?
After Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica fiasco, reports of Facebook users closing accounts and jumping ship were prevalent. While it may be true that some users left the platform in search of safer digital experiences, it is clear that Facebook easily replaced any users who left — and added more users to boot.
Facebook’s number of daily active users grew from 1.401 billion one year ago to 1.523 billion upon the completion of Q4 2018. This number is good for a 9 percent year-over-year growth rate. The company also touted the fact that roughly 2.3 billion people use Facebook at least once a month. Similarly, approximately 2.7 billion people use one of the Facebook family of apps (Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, WhatsApp) each month, with 2 billion people using one or more of these platforms daily.
Simply put, Facebook had drama in 2018 — but its ability to help marketers reach social media audiences in 2019 is stronger than ever before.
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Not only does Facebook understand that the greater its ability to reach audiences, the more useful it becomes — but advertisers realize it too. Facebook’s ad proceeds in Q4 2018 amounted to a huge 30 percent increase in year-over-year revenue ($12.8 billion to $16.6 billion). Though a hefty portion of the ad revenue comes from large advertisers, the company saw companies of all sizes take advantage of advertising opportunities. In fact, Facebook now has more than 7 million regular advertisers.
During the conference call, CEO Mark Zuckerberg spoke about the work Facebook has done in recent months to start cleaning up some of the messes from prior year, but also said the company is in a good place to begin to again devote more time to developing new tools and functionalities for channel users in 2019.
“Our second priority for 2019 is that as we make progress on… social issues, we also need to deliver new experiences that meaningfully improve people’s lives,” Zuckerberg said. “I’m not talking about the many day-to-day iterative improvements we make so that ranking gets a bit better or things get somewhat faster, but major improvements to people’s lives that whole communities recognize and say, ‘Wow, we’re all doing something new on Facebook or WhatsApp that we weren’t doing before.'”
Google+ finally has a drop-dead date. In an email to users this week, Google let it be known that the digital tearing down of the social platform that never quite took off would begin on April 2. Users are encouraged to download their data before the April 2 removal date.
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey gave some insight on how an editable tweet might work during a podcast interview last week. Dorsey says that if the company does offer editable tweets, the messages probably would only be editable for a few seconds after being sent to reinforce the real-time nature of Twitter conversations.
Reddit now offers advertisers cost-per-click ad options. The new (for Reddit) ad option is all part of the company’s shift in recent months to be a more viable option for advertisers. The cost-per-click ad objectives include video views, conversions, reach, and traffic.
Snapchat is discussing potentially making snaps permanent, according to Reuters. If the company were to make the move to permanent snaps, it would fundamentally change one of the platform’s core functionalities. Snap, Inc. has not commented about potentially making the change.