Technology

Results: Facebook and Apple rally more consumers

Facebook has won its bet to invest in e-commerce during the pandemic, and it’s only the beginning, as new rules imposed by Apple on targeted advertising force the social media giant to depend less on its heart. business.

California’s two best enemies are emerging from a year of the pandemic on a roll, with more popular and essential products and services than ever before, according to their quarterly results released Wednesday.

With more than $ 26 billion in sales in the first quarter (+ 48%), of which it generated 9.5 billion in net profit – almost double the level of a year ago – Facebook has far exceeded expectations of the market.

“A year ago, we asked ourselves crucial questions about Facebook’s ability to cope with the consequences of the pandemic on its business. We now know that the group has not only resisted, it has grown stronger, ”commented Debra Aho Williamson, analyst at eMarketer.

The Menlo Park group capitalized on the accelerated transition of consumers to the internet during the pandemic, and the needs of merchants forced to move their storefront online.

Its marketplace, Marketplace, now attracts over a billion monthly users. And some 250 million people “visit” every month the “Facebook Shops”, a tool launched in May 2020 which allows brands to create a “store”, a kind of personalized showcase.

Consumer “funnel”

The company has invested heavily in advertising products that facilitate transactions directly on its sites and mobile applications.

“It will take us several years to build a fully equipped e-commerce platform accessible through our various services, but I am determined that we will get there,” said founder and boss, Mark Zuckerberg, during a analyst conference.

“We always have more people looking for products and more and more are finding it,” added Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s COO. “We’ve always been good at the entrance to the funnel. Can we get people out of the funnel? We think so ”.

Around 1.9 billion people use Facebook every day around the world, 8% more than a year ago, and some 3.45 billion use at least one of the group’s platforms (Facebook, Instagram , Messenger, WhatsApp) every month.

So many “monetizable” users, whose social network collects the data to then target them on a large scale, but very finely, with personalized advertisements.

However, this economic model is partially called into question, first by the authorities (especially in Europe, but also increasingly in the United States), but also, more recently, by Apple.

The apple brand has just changed the way mobile apps target its billion active iPhone users around the world: they must now ask their permission to track them.

While this measure doesn’t prevent ad personalization, it has pissed off Facebook for months.

Apple baits

The social network nevertheless seems to have softened. “The impact on our business should be manageable,” said Dave Wehner, its CFO.

“It’s a headwind, but we are making encouraging progress on our own solutions to help advertisers (…), with data aggregates that are used to target and measure (the impact of advertising campaigns)”, a- he clarified.

Apple, it achieves its margins thanks to its high-end electronic devices. Substantial margins: from January to March, the company earned 23.6 billion dollars in profits, double the level of a year ago, for nearly 90 billion in turnover (+ 54%).

During the past quarter, it exploded its sales of iPhone (+ 66%), iPad tablets (+ 79%) and Mac computers (+ 70%).

Hence the importance for Facebook not to lose access to the juicy market of Apple customers, generally better off than average.

The two neighbors are also preparing for a major competition in the years to come, in the field of virtual and augmented realities.

Mark Zuckerberg reiterated Wednesday that these technologies would become “an important part of the way we interact with computers”, while rumors of connected glasses from Apple are rife on specialized sites.

“These will be the two key players in this area,” predicts Gene Munster of the Loup Ventures investment fund, on Twitter.

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