On the questions of where advertisers are, as I said before, we are asserting that we are not TV, we are not search. We are social advertising. – Sheryl Sandberg
via Facebook (don’t sue meee)
The Zuckster released Facebook’s Q3 earnings for 2012 yesterday, mere months after its IPO launch on May 18th. At that time, the company’s valuation was approximated at $104 billion (Wikipedia), and now has a Q3 earning of $1.26 billion. That’s a whole lotta paper and according to their press release, this is a 32% increase from the $954 million in Q3 of 2011. I actually wrote last week about how the social space has changed, and how Facebook became a whole new landscape in just a year’s time. It’s not only rolled out a full integration of Timeline, making it a curator of stories and experiences, it’s also become an advertiser’s mecca by providing integrated options for reaching finessed targeted demographics with brand’s messages in a natural, conversational manner.
This is all cool stuff, but what does this mean for all the stakeholders? Here’s a quick look:
Investors: Congrats – you did it buddy. Your investment will pay off so tell the naysayers to suck it. The stock, while quiet at first, jumped after the announcement and is currently up 3.70 as of this writing. (Click here for a real time data analysis). You’ll also receive $0.12 per share on a non-GAAP basis (whatever that means…). Now’s the time to hang that certificate and put a big LIKE thumbs up on it.
Users: Part of their earnings announcement involved readdressing some of the products that will enhance your overall experience with the site. These include the addition of Gifts, as well as a deeper integration into Apple’s new iOS 6.0. In terms of advertising, though, they’ve developed tools such as Custom Audiences, Offers, Facebook Exchange, and mobile install ads. Buzzwords aside, this means that advertisements have been (and will continue to be) served towards you in a more conversational, approachable way instead of just thrown at you, so you might not have even noticed the difference if it wasn’t for the “Sponsored” notice.
Custom Audiences, as described in further detail here by TechCrunch, allows marketers & ad peeps alike to target you through privacy-protected phone numbers or email addresses that you’ve given to a brand through signing up for their service (i.e. a Groupon or what have you), as well as through your Facebook ID. This is all on top of the standard targeted elements such as age, gender, geo-targeting. This is all information you have given out, not that was bought so rest assured, no spamming here!
Offers lets brands serve you deal via Facebook, I’ve seen cool ones like 15% off of purchase from some of my favorite brands, as well as brands that my friends follow (friends of fans targeting).
Facebook Exchange allows, among other things, ads to be served to you based off of your online behaviors, known as Retargeting. Advertisers can bid on those ads in real time, allowing them to find you and serve you an ad on a whim. Looking for a camera? BOOM! Here’s a Nikon ad. (Some more info on Exchange can be found here.)
Mobile install ads is basically a developer’s dream. This allows for mobile ads to direct you straight through to the app store to download some awesome new treat. Look for more innovations in mobile in the months to come too!
Marketers/Ad peeps: Sip your cocktail, as these are all more exciting ways to help out your brands and to reach your consumers in noninvasive, approachable, and friendly ways.
Some cool stuff here. So not only will you get to send your friends gifts, and have better mobile experiences, but you’ll also have more relevant pieces of content and advertisements coming your way based off of your online habits and different sets of information you’ve given about yourself to sites. On top of this, Facebook will continue to rake in the dough, as will all of their investors. Cool beans?
Let me know if none of that makes sense to you, I’m happy to elaborate.