The digital download: Facebook’s ad revenue up, while Twitter’s management down

This week’s digital download includes Facebook’s Q4 2015 earnings, Twitter’s management shakeup, Snapchat’s Super Bowl ad program and IAB’s response to ad blocking.

Facebook has definitely been in the media spotlight over the past seven days. The company saw a 57 percent increase (to $5.63 billion) in its advertising revenue for its fourth quarter (Q4) of 2015 , compared to the same time in 2014. Its total revenue also grew by 52 percent year-over-year to more than $5.84 billion.

The social network continues its shift from desktop to mobile, now representing an 80 percent chunk of its total ad revenue.

facebook update

The company’s most recent stats reveal that there are more than 1.59 billion people using Facebook each month and 1.04 billion each day. Last December, 1.44 billion users accessed Facebook on mobile devices.

In addition to its flourishing revenue, Facebook is enhancing its capabilities by bringing its live-streaming feature to all its users.  The platform is also rolling out six new emoticons to sit alongside its ‘Like’ button, including love, haha, yay, wow, sad and angry. Cute. 

Twitter faces management shakeup

This week wasn’t as promising for Twitter. In fact, it’s been pretty lousy. 

The company’s stock price dropped by four percent this past Monday and if that wasn’t enough, almost half of its senior leadership team are leaving Twitter, some heading to direct competitors such as Instagram. 

On the plus side , the company did tap Leslie Berland, who is currently executive vice president of global advertising, marketing and digital partnerships at American Express, to be its new chief marketing officer.

Major brands invest in Snapchat’s Super Bowl Live Stories

Marriott, Budweiser, Pepsi and Amazon will spend on Snapchat’s Live Stories during Super Bowl, according to Digiday. Video ads from those companies will be running in Live Stories during the big game on February 7.

Live Stories allows Snapchatters who are at the same event or a specific location, to submit their snaps that will then be curated by Snapchat staff to form a story.

All major social and video networks are making a play for Super Bowl. Aside from Snapchat, YouTube developed its AdBlitz program to host Super Bowl advertisers’ TV spots, while Facebook designed Facebook Sports Stadium where users can follow major sporting events and see content like player stats, videos and Facebook posts.

facebook stadium

Randall Rothenberg addresses ad blocking at the 2016 IAB Annual Leadership Meeting

During his keynote at this year’s Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) Annual Leadership Meeting, chief executive Randall Rothenberg responded to IAB uninviting AdBlock-Plus to its conference.

“When an unethical, immoral, mendacious coven of techie wannabes at a for-profit German company called AdBlock-Plus took to the digisphere to complain over and over that IAB had ‘disinvited’ them to this convention. That, of course, is as much a lie as the others they routinely try to tell the world. We had never invited them in the first place,” said Rothenberg.

He added that for-profit ad blockers like AdBlock-Plus are hurting both publishers and consumers, because their business model is “predicated on censorship of content and forces consumers to pay more money for less and less diverse information.”

Rothenberg advocated LEAN ads that are light, encrypted, AdChoices-supporting, and non-invasive.

Ad blocking has been a big issue for the digital marketing industry. A 2015 study from PageFair and Adobe shows that the number of ad blocking software users across the globe grew by 41 percent from the previous comparable year.

Like Rothenberg, many in the industry think that the rise of ad blocking could be a complete loss for everyone.


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