First thing’s first. Big news from Facebook this week: they hit 1 billion active monthly users. That’s huge. Enormous. More people log into Facebook each month than go to church on the weekends. This, nevertheless, failed to impress Wall Street, as it meant that growth had begun to trail off for the social networking behemoth.
In an interview on NBC’s “Today” show broadcast on Thursday, CEO Mark Zuckerberg was asked by co-anchor Matt Lauer how, with a billion users, the company wasn’t “killing it” by making money.
“It depends on your definition of ‘killing it.’ I mean, we are making billions of dollars,” Zuckerberg fired back.
In its last earnings report, Facebook said revenue increased by 32 percent to $1.18 billion in the second quarter. But that marked the slowest pace of quarterly revenue growth since the first quarter of 2011 – the earliest data available.
Across the board, Facebook has been receiving criticism of its management and business model, but particularly in terms of its weakening growth. As we covered (“Facebook Wants the World,” 9/24), Facebook is looking to tap into the market of those who lack dedicated computers. With mobile phone users at roughly 5 billion people worldwide, Facebook on Mobile is the source of the new push. Zuckerberg posted the following to his Facebook page (via mobile):
This morning, there are more than one billion people using Facebook actively each month.
If you’re reading this: thank you for giving me and my little team the honor of serving you.
Helping a billion people connect is amazing, humbling and by far the thing I am most proud of in my life.
I am committed to working every day to make Facebook better for you, and hopefully together one day we will be able to connect the rest of the world too.
But in other news, Facebook today released its first commercial ad. And it’s somewhat bizarre, likening Facebook to chairs and doorbells (and airplanes and bridges and basketball and a country that I think is Austria). The takeaway is that Facebook is a convenience that we can hardly life without, but the ad ultimately recalls Clint Eastwood’s RNC speech. The most remarkable thing about the ad, though, is that nowhere in the commercial is a computer. Stranger yet, it features people reading newspapers.