Facebook’s 2014 1st Quarter Earnings Show Promise in the Mobile App Arena

Facebook logo

It’s been a while since we last checked in on Facebook, so we figured we would go ahead and get you up to speed on the social media platform.

Earlier this year, the social media giant seemed to be on a roller coaster ride with investors (and just about everyone else) as they saw a mix of high and lows that elicited a range of comments, such as the controversial comparison to an infectious disease.

One roadblock that proved to be quite challenging for the social platform was the result of a drop in usage among teenagers. In November of 2013, Facebook reported a drop of 20% among teen users–from 76% in 1st quarter to 56% in the 3rd quarter of 2013–as teens started switching over to more mobile friendly apps such as Snapchat and Whatsapp.

Fortunately, their 2013 4th quarter earnings showed that Facebook was still a heavyweight contender in the realm of social media, with a 63% increase in revenue and eight-fold increase in profit for the fourth quarter. The most noticeable thing about the earnings was that Facebook reported that mobile advertising accounted for 53% of revenue in the fourth quarter, a jump up from the 23% revenue it reported a year earlier.

Still, as we mentioned in our previous posts about Facebook, even with the spike in profits, Facebook still had a long way to go before they could prove that they were in the clear. With the 2014 1st quarter earnings now in, those concerns are proving to be less of an issue.

USA Today reports that Facebook’s first-quarter earnings were $885 million (34 cents per share) on revenue of $2.5 billion, which exceeded the expected profit of 24 cents and $2.36 billion in revenue. About a year ago, Facebook rang up a profit of 12 cents and revenue of $1.46 billion.

The credit, according to Facebook, goes to their mobile marketing. As Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg stated, “mobile is a strong driver for us,” with about 60% of company’s ad sales coming from mobile devices. 

What does this mean for business?

Simply put, Facebook has definitely pulled through in the mobile app arena with a 40% increase in Facebook users–making a total of 945 million people as of December 31st, 2013–visiting the site on their mobile devices.

For now, we think it is safe to say that Facebook has made a pretty good comeback. But as with any tool in your recruiting arsenal, you need to always keep an eye on any changes that can happen.

Fortunately, there are plenty of other recruiting tools that employers can use to attract top talent, like the ones we have at AIM Careerlink. If things start going south, you know you’ll extra support with AIM Careerlink.

Should We Be Concerned about Twitter’s Sluggish User Growth?

Yesterday, Twitter’s market value plummeted amid concerns over the social media platform’s slow-moving user growth, with shares falling as much as 24%. 

Twitter has also seen a drop in its “timeline views,” its own advertising metric, which the company uses to gauge existing user engagement (timeline view is measured every time a user refreshes a page on a desktop or mobile device).

Not surprisingly, loss of interest in the social media platform among its current user base, coupled with the sloth-like user growth has left investors unimpressed, with Twitter showing just 3.8% (9 million) users more than the previous quarter, down from a 6.4% growth in the previous period.

As a result, Twitter now finds itself in a similar predicament to Facebook. However, Facebook’s growth peaked at a much higher number than Twitter’s–around 1.23 billion.

Changes are coming 

Fortunately, Twitter CEO Dick Costolo admitted that there are certain changes that need to be made if the company wants to improve their user numbers.

The hope is that new features and updates to the service will help to make the platform much more user-friendly (such as organizing conversations by topics)–a concern that some think has kept Twitter from becoming as popular as the social media giant, Facebook.

One good thing we can point out is Twitter’s rise in revenue, which jumped from 97 cents per 1,000 timeline views in the previous quarter to $1.49 currently, which that shows Twitter is drawing more revenue from its users. However, as it stands, that’s still not enough to keep investors confident in the company, which means that Twitter needs to act fast.

How concerned should we be about Twitter’s future? While we don’t think you should jump to any conclusions and abandon your Twitter account, we do think that you need to keep on eye on the social media platform, just like you would for any other recruiting tool in your arsenal.

Things can always take a turn for the worst, which is why it’s always important to have a backup plan if and when you need to get things back up and running–and one way to do that is to ensure you have a well-rounded and fine-tuned recruiting arsenal.

What do you think about Twitter’s current situation? Do you think these new updates will help improve the platform? Let us know your thoughts by connecting with us on Facebook or Twitter!

Will Facebook Video Ads Help Businesses, or Cause Them Trouble?

Last week, we checked in on the social media giant Facebook, and considered its status as we make our way into 2014.

As we mentioned in our previous post, Facebook may be running into a little trouble with amount of information it is cramming into its news feeds–but it looks like this social media juggernaut isn’t stopping there.

In recent news, Facebook decided to begin rolling out video ads that will pop up on users’ news feeds. While some businesses can rejoice, they should also be aware of the potential backlash from users that could end up causing some trouble for companies. To prep you for either scenario, we thought we would give you a pros and cons list. Take a look below:

Pros of video ads

  • Videos are a powerful tool. As we’ve mentioned in the past, videos are definitely a powerful tool when it comes to recruiting, so it’s no surprise that these videos could potentially do a lot to boost a company’s branding.
  • These ads are more organic than traditional online ads. Facebook has been known for integrating ads subtly into its platform, rather than the traditional ‘in your face’ method of most websites. The upshot of this approach might lessen the blow because it’s not as intrusive, preventing users from full-on abandoning the network.

Cons of video ads

  • Autoplay can be annoying. Most of us have had this problem before: those annoying websites with music or ads that you just can’t turn off. While these Facebook video ads are silent, they might still be enough to bug users.
  • The potential for sound. The ads may be silent for now, but Facebook is only in the testing phase. We won’t speculate too much, but the addition of sound could cause a bit of a rift–so keep an eye out for that moving forward.

What does this all mean for HR and recruiting?

Simply put, if users are unhappy with the platform, it might cause them to abandon Facebook, putting you out of a great recruiting tool.

That doesn’t mean that you should jump ship right this minute. As we’ve mentioned in the past, you need to be aware of everything going on with your recruiting tools. Some tools have been proven to work, while others are constantly transforming, meaning that you may need to make certain changes along the way.

All tools need a little tinkering every once in a while–even social media giants like Facebook. Making sure your arsenal is in tip top shape is the key to maintaining good order in recruiting and HR–do that, and you’ll be golden.