Facebook’s Roadmap & What it Means to You

Mark Zuckerberg is pretty candid when it comes to the Facebook strategy and roadmap. During the last Earnings Call, he outlined where Facebook was at, and where he is looking to go in the next 10 years. Below, we’ve outlined the conversation and selected the bullet points that will be relevant to you in 2015. The transcript is included so that you can read on and get more ideas about where to concentrate your efforts. Below is Facebook’s Roadmap & What it Means to you and your marketing efforts.

Facebook’s Roadmap & What it Means to You

Is it necessary to advertise on Facebook to gain fans

THE TAKEAWAY

– 700 million people now use Facebook Groups – this is a great workaround for people whose page’s reach has declined. Create a page and invite your community. This means giving up more control, and inviting parallel businesses to be a part of the conversation.

– 1 billion interactions every week between public figures and their fans on Facebook – It is imperative that brands stop just broadcasting and interact with their follower base. This will most likely be tied into their algorithm for reach as well. Make sure that you allot enough time to reply to comments on your pages as well as reviews on your business page.

– 1 billion video views – this means you need to start creating video for your brand. We’ve noticed internally that video content gets significantly more reach than any other type of Facebook post. Even if you don’t have the capital to run a full on video campaign, you can use tools such as Animoto to create video content.

– Instagram has more than 100% year-over-year growth – you can no longer ignore Instagram because it does not allow links or because you don’t know how to take pictures. Instagram is where your audience is at. If you wait you are going to be way out of the loop and catch-up is hard.

– Atlas platform – Facebook wants some of those Google ad dollars and Atlas is their answer. With the drop of organic reach you need to create better content (more engaging & most likely video based), and advertise on the platform to push reach when you need to. Facebook will be working heavily on fine tuning their ad platform in order to make advertisers feel good about their dollar spend. This means that you will be better able to target the right demographic for your brand. We suggest setting aside money on a monthly basis for a Facebook ad spend AND to begin research on the best practices for Facebook ads.

– WhatsApp – world domination…seriously. 98% of text messages are opened within minutes of their arrival. This is significantly higher than email (13%) or regular mail (3%). The issue for Facebook (and marketers) is that there are privacy laws set to protect users against unwanted text messages…that, however, can be easily changed with a simple update to privacy policy. This means that (even though we’re not there yet), you need to start thinking about how you can implement SMS into your marketing strategy. I could see some really cool uses for local businesses…and even retail with phone payments tied in.

How businesses can use Whatsapp and Facebook messenger in marketing

FACEBOOK EARNINGS CALL TRANSCRIPT – PART 1 STATE OF THE UNION

(Important items in bold)

Let’s begin with our three-year goals. Over the next three years, our main goals are around continuing to grow and serve our existing communities and businesses and help them reach their full potential.

When you look at the size and engagement of our community, our progress remains very strong. 864 million use Facebook every day and across our core products, we continue to see huge engagement. For example around 700 million people now use Facebook Groups every month. Achieving this scale shows that we’re delivering experiences for the way that people want to share and connect.

Another example is our progress on public content. Last quarter I talked about how we’re working to connect people around important public moments and personalities on Facebook. This quarter we’ve continued to build on our results and there are now more than 1 billion interactions every week between public figures and their fans on Facebook.

The investments we have made in video have also played a big part here. This quarter we announced a new milestone for video on Facebook achieving 1 billion video views, a day of made of videos. During the summers the ice bucket challenge drew more than 10 billion video views by 440 million people which is a good sign of how far our video product has come.

Instagram has also made a lot of progress this quarter. In August, the Instagram team launched Hyperlapse, a standalone app for time lapse of videos on iOS. The team has also invested heavily in improving the speed and performance of Instagram on Android. This has helped drive Instagram’s strong international growth which in some countries has achieved more than 100% year-over-year growth. Globally, people using Instagram now spend around 21 minutes a day on average using the app. This is a strong figure compared to the industry and a good sign that Instagram’s strategy is on the right path. Our other big focus over the next three years is to continue to serving businesses well and creating a lot of value for marketers.

As our results show, our approach here is working. To continue delivering value for businesses, we work to improve the quality of ads and news feed by reducing low quality content and improving our targeting to show more timely and relevant content. We’ve also made some big advances in our ad tech, most importantly the launch of our new Atlas platform. Atlas offers marketers a lot of new capabilities to help reach people across devices, platforms and publishers as well as improving measurement in online campaign. We’re very excited for the future of Atlas and Cheryl is going to talk more about this in a moment.

Next, let’s talk about our strategy over the next five years. Over the next five years, our goals are around taking our next generation of services, Instagram, Messenger, WhatsApp and Search and helping them connect billions of people and become important businesses in their own right.

One big priority for us here is messaging. And continuing to build and grow Messenger and now WhatsApp as well as great services. This quarter we made an important change to our mobile messaging efforts by transitioning people to Messenger on iOS, Android and Windows Phone. We believe that this change allows us to offer a better and faster messaging experience on mobile, and our data shows that people who use Messenger, usually respond to messages about 20% faster.

This month we also completed our acquisition of WhatsApp. I’m excited to be working with this team and John to join our Board. WhatsApp continues to be on a path to connect more than 1 billion people around the world and we’re going to be working into accelerate their efforts here. Another key part of our strategy is helping developers to build more great social experiences on our platform.

Over the next few years, our goal is to make Facebook a cross-platform platform that allows developers to build, grow and monetize their apps across every major mobile platform. We’ve continued to make good progress here. This quarter, we opened our audience networks to all developers and publishers, allowing over 1.5 million advertisers on Facebook to extend their campaigns across mobile and for developers to begin monetizing their apps.

We’re also excited by the continued adoption of App Links, our deep-linking technology for mobile apps. App Links is now used by hundreds of apps across iOS, Android and Windows phone and in just the past six months, the developers have created links to more than 3 billion individual destinations in these apps.

FACEBOOK EARNINGS CALL TRANSCRIPT – PART 2 GOALS

Now let’s talk about how we’re approaching our goals over the next 10 years. For the next 10 years our focus is on driving the fundamental changes in the world that we need to achieve our mission, connecting the whole world, understanding a world with big leaps in AIs and developing the next generation of platforms, especially in computing.

This is a very big period, a very busy period for our efforts with Internet.org. In July we worked with Airtel to launch the Internet.org app in Zambia. This provides free data access to a set of basic internet services for health, education, employment and communication. The results from this are very encouraging. We’ve already heard a lot amazing stories about how people are using the internet to add value to their lives. We hope to bring the Internet.org app to many more countries soon.

Over the last few months, I’ve also travelled to several countries and met with policy makers, key distributors and people and communities that are coming online for the first time. Increasingly industry and governments are seeing expanding internet access as one of their core priorities. This is positive development for our work with Internet.org in our long-term goal of connecting everyone in the world.

Finally, let’s talk for a minute about our progress of Oculus. As I’ve said before, with Oculus, we’re making a long-term bet on the future of computing. Every 10 to 15 years, a new major computing platform arrives and we think that virtual and augmented reality are important parts of this upcoming next platform. This quarter, Oculus continued to make progress towards this vision.

In September, the first Oculus developer conference took place, where we announced a new prototype VR headset on the path of a consumer version of the Rift. We continue to see a lot of excitement in the developer community and we’ve now shipped more than 100,000 of Rift developer kit to over a 130 countries. It’s still early for Oculus but we are encouraged to see the variety of apps and games being developed for this platform.

Internet.org and Oculus are just two of the huge opportunities ahead. Our efforts here will take longer to achieve their full impact, but we’re going to continue preparing for the future by investing aggressively. So that’s how we’re approaching our strategy over the next three, five and 10 years, while focusing on our big goals of connecting everyone, understanding the world and building the next generation of platforms.

This has been a quarter with strong results. I want to thank the entire Facebook community, our employees, our partners and our stockholders for their continued support. Because of your contribution, Facebook continues to grow in strength and to create greater value in the world for people, partners and businesses. We have a long journey ahead, we’re on the right path and I’m excited about the progress that we’re making