Last week, Facebook released its Q4 2018 earnings report. With public companies, there’s always plenty of transparency, and with Facebook being such an important publisher, advertisers should pay attention to see what trends and insights they can pick up from the numbers.
Each month, 2.7 billion people use at least one of its four apps—Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and WhatsApp. That’s up 100 million people over the previous quarter. The social giant started combining usage stats last year across all of its properties versus sharing specific metrics for each platform.
Average ad revenue per user (AARPU) is a leading metric for any ad-based platforms as it is a key indicator of health. In Q4, the AARPU for the US and Canada was $34.09, a 29.8% year-over-year increase from Q4 2017. Even though a majority of Facebook’s user base is outside of North America, its importance to the company’s bottom line is clear when you consider that global AARPU was $7.25 in Q4 2018. That’s a 19.2% increase, but still way below the US/Canada average.
Stories ads continue to grow in both with users and advertisers. There were over 500 million daily active users of Instagram Stories last quarter and nearly a third (2 million) of the 7 million advertisers on the Facebook suite of apps last year invested budgets into Stories across Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger.
Facebook Watch is growing slowly but the Q4 numbers showed that 400 million people use it each month. This is still a relatively small number of total online video consumers, but with other companies garnering so much success (Netlix, Hulu, YouTube, Amazon Prime), Facebook continues knows that there’s a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow if the usage can continue to grow.
Senior Director of Marketing Research @ Kenshoo