Recap: Facebook Q1 2016 Earnings Call #SocialMedia News

 Written by: Juliana Casale, Content Marketing Manager for nanigans.com/
As Hashtag South Africa we source the planet to bring you the latest and messages of wisdom as you walk this Connected Planet Journey with us – Conrad @ CEO & founder of Hashtag South Africa

As highlighted in Nanigan’s Q1 2016 Global Facebook Advertising Benchmark Report, marketers continue to invest more in video ads on Facebook—especially on mobile—to achieve their direct response performance objectives. In North America, 26% more mobile ad spend was allocated to video formats in Q1 2016 compared to Q4 2015. In the Asia-Pacific market, the quarter-over-quarter spend share increase was even higher at 45%. Overall, the share of mobile ad spend to video formats grew across all major verticals, with gaming exhibiting the largest increase.

Yesterday’s Facebook earnings call reflected this strong growth. As CEO Mark Zuckerberg stated, “We’re at the beginning of a golden age of online video. Video isn’t just a single kind of content; we think it’s a medium that allows people to interact in a lot of new ways.”

These developments also had analysts excited:

  • Total revenue grew by 52% year on year to $5.4 billion
  • Q1 ad revenue grew by 57% to $5.2 billion
  • Mobile ad revenue reached $4.2 billion, up 75% year over year; now accounting for 82% of total ad revenue
  • North America and Asia Pacific were Facebook’s fastest growing regions,with advertising revenue growth of 64% and 62%, respectively

For further takeaways from Facebook’s Q1 2016 earnings call, read on:

Stats and Facts

Facebook Revenue Q1 2016


  • Facebook now has 1.65 billion monthly active users
  • Globally, people spend more than 50 minutes a day on average using Facebook, Instagram and Messenger
  • More than 1 billion people are consistently using Facebook on mobile every day
  • 1 billion people use WhatsApp every month
  • More than 400 million people are active on Instagram every month
  • In Q1, the time people spent watching videos on Instagram increased by more than 40% over the preceding 6 months


Facebook daily active users Q1 2016

New Developments Since Q4 2015

  •   The launch of Facebook Live – a live broadcast from your personal Timeline
  •   Bots for Facebook Messenger
  •   News feed ranking for Instagram
  •   Shipping of Oculus Rift headsets
  •   The Facebook Moments app gets facial recognition
  •   The introduction of Auto Captions to video ads
  •   The Canvas ad format rolls out
  •   Lead ads fully rolled out
  •   Expanded Lift capabilities

Takeaways For Advertisers From Sheryl Sandberg

Direct response commitment – “Our direct response business continues to be very strong. It’s very ROI focused. We’ve continued to invest and roll out products that help – like Lead Ads, where people can fill out forms on a mobile device and take their contact info from Facebook.”

Adapting video from TV to digital ads – “Importantly, marketers have to adjust sometimes. While the 30-second ad does perform well in the news feed, we also see people understanding that the format is different. Creating shorter ads, creating ads that can work even without sound – more personal ads – has really mattered.”

Viva Facebook Audience Network – “We’ve seen the growth of native ads; 83% of the overall inventory on the platform is native, and over 50% of our publishers are only using native ads. We have some great examples of Audience Network really improving peoples’ results. A recent one is eBay’s Vivanuncios, which is an online real estate destination working in Latin America and Mexico. When they were using a combination of Facebook, Instagram and the Audience Network, they saw 57% lower Cost Per Install with placement optimization and 59% more volume vs. running on Facebook alone, which led to 6% incremental revenue. So compared to November a year before, the number of their app installs increased by 115%.”

Looking for further details on the call? Here’s some additional coverage:

Or you can go straight to Facebook investor relations to view the slides, listen to the call, and read the transcript in full.

To action a social media strategy or should you require a consultation contact conrad@hashtagsa.com or visit us in Sandton, Johannesburg, South Africa at Suite 4, 150 Rivonia Road, Sandton.

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Everything Facebook announced at F8 2016

Two days of Facebook’s F8 Conference have come and gone, so here’s a look back at all the things you may have missed from the event.

F8 is a Developer Conference that Facebook hosts to share product developments while showcasing opportunities and networking for the technology industry.

Mark Zuckerberg kicks off the event… with a Trump takedown


Zuckerberg also shared a 10-year roadmap for the company that basically consists of lasers, Virtual Reality, and bots. Zuck foresees the company making VR headsets small enough to look like ordinary glasses.

But before this all takes place, it’s important for Facebook to connect the world to the Web, and it’s doing so with a variety of projects such as drones and antennas. It plans to test in developing countries and smaller cities before implementing them on larger scales should they prove successful.

fb roadmap

The roadmap seemed more like a preview of this F8 than the future, but it’s interesting to think about what exactly Facebook might be building 10 years from now that aren’t those three things.

Some new Facebook tools

Moving over to some developer updates, Facebook announced a handful of new tools to make navigating the Web more intuitive. Such tools include an Account Kit so you can log into any service with just your phone number or email, a quote sharing tool, and a Save to Facebook button for any website to implement.

There are also updates to Analytics for Apps which aims to help developers gain more understanding of their users’ demographics, such as their age range and what time they tend to make in-app purchases. They can also target notifications to these users for higher engagement rates.


In React news, Facebook said its framework will now be available on Windows and Samsung devices, allowing developers to create apps for smart TV, wearables, and gaming consoles.

Facebook knows it needs partnerships to continue growing, and swiftly announced a new selfie kit that includes six beta partners to help users spice up their profile videos. It’s also got a new live video API so more people can choose its platform over, say, Periscope, to better brand and extend reach.

Messenger takes center stage

And while those developer tools were useful updates, it was clear the star of the show this year was Facebook Messenger. The company unveiled Messenger Platform which lets anyone create bots for the app, and launched a few for users to try on the spot.

messenger platform

If you need help creating a bot, there’s also a Bot Engine based on Facebook M, an artificial intelligence program Facebook unveiled last year. Facebook foresees this future being more about how people can interact with businesses more intuitively, and use bots to make their lives easier – be it to order pizza, arrange a car pickup, send flowers, or go shopping.

For example, you can interact with the CNN bot on Facebook Messenger and tell it topics you are interested in. In return, the bot can provide you with a news story you might have missed, or provide a digest of things worth your time.

It makes you wonder what Facebook will look like in that 10-year roadmap if everything you can do on the app will soon be available directly on Messenger.

VR demos and a $30,000 360-degree camera

While hardware was never Facebook’s forte, it did unveil a $30,000 camera design that can shoot 8K videos in 360-degrees. Facebook is open-sourcing the concept based on existing hardware, and while it’s not clear who the company designed this for, the price seems a lot less expensive on other cameras on the market with similar capabilities.


It also showed off a cute demonstration of what it foresees VR doing, such as a tour of global destinations and the ability to take VR selfies via Oculus. It’s not super practical, but it does seem rather fun to do if you’re trying to impress someone with your Oculus Kit — assuming you receive them in time.

Sentiment Analytics

10 Sentiment Analysis Tools to Track Social Marketing Success

Sentiment analysis, also known as opinion mining, is the analysis of the feelings (i.e. attitudes, emotions and opinions) behind the words using natural language processing tools. It’s looking beyond the number of Likes, Shares or Comments you get on an ad campaign, product release, blog post, and video to understand how people are responding to it. Was the review positive? Negative? Sarcastic? Ideologically biased?

As marketers, being able to capture the complexity of emotional responses helps us determine if our  social and content marketing initiatives are driving the actions that we planned for, while also giving us hard cues for adapting our strategy, in the event that our touch points are not resonating with our customers.

How to Measure Sentiment: “Measure What Matters”

Comments, shares, Likes, re-tweets, inbound links and onsite engagement are invaluable metrics that show us how people found us and if they are engaging (or not!) with our content. But they are also what Katie Delahaye Paine, author of Measure What Matters: Online Tools For Understanding Customers, Social Media, Engagement, and Key Relationships, labels as “quantity” or “vanity metrics.”

She says that if we look at numbers only, it can give us a false sense of hope that our content is generating leads for our brand or business. With sentiment analysis, we dig deeper and look at “quality metrics”.

Quality metrics include opinions, feelings, satisfaction ratings, the quality of shares, comments, re-tweets, replies, ratings or conversations, as well as the quality of engagement over time.

To give you an idea of what a typical sentiment analysis chart might look like, here is a good example I found:

Source: Retooling Social Media Metrics To Provide Real, Actionable Insights

Using a blend of monitoring tools (like Google Analytics, Radian6, and some free ones) you can start actively listening to your audience and identify which messages and initiatives are driving the right actions and desired outcomes.

Here’s a shortlist of 10 practical tools you can use to track user sentiment:

  1. Meltwater: Assess the tone of the commentary as a proxy for brand reputation and uncover new insights that help you understand your target audience.
  2. Google Alerts: A simple and very useful way to monitor your search queries. I use it to track “content marketing” and get regular email updates on the latest relevant Google results. This is a good starting point for tracking influencers, trends and competitors.
  3. People Browser: Find all the mentions of your brand, industry and competitors and analyze sentiment. This tool allows you to compare the volume of mentions before, during and after your marketing campaigns.
  4. Google Analytics: A powerful tool for discovering which channels influenced your subscribers and buyers. Create custom reports, annotations to keep uninterrupted records of your marketing and web design actions, as well as advanced segments to breakdown visitor data and gain valuable insights on their online experiences.
  5. Hootsuite: A great freemium tool that allows you to manage and measure your social networks.  The premium subscription provides enhanced analytics at a very reasonable 5.99USD per month.
  6. Tweetstats: This is a fun, free tool that allows you to graph your Twitter stats. Simply enter your Twitter handle and “let the magic happen.”
  7. Facebook Insights: If you have more than 30 Likes on your Facebook Page you can start measuring its performance with Insights. See total page Likes, number of fans, daily active users, new Likes/Unlikes, Like sources, demographics, page views and unique page views, tab views, external referrers, media consumption and more!
  8. Pagelever: This is another tool for measuring Facebook activity. Pagelever gives you the ability to precisely measure each stage of how content is consumed and shared on the Facebook platform.
  9. Social Mention: The social media equivalent to Google Alerts, this is a useful tool that allows you to track mentions for identified keywords in video, blogs, microblogs, events, bookmarks, comments, news, Q&A, hash tags and even audio media. It also indicates if mentions are positive, negative, or neutral.
  10. Marketing Grader: Hubspot’s Marketing Grader is a tool for grading your entire marketing funnel. It uses over 35 metrics to calculate your grade by looking at if you are regularly blog posting, Tweeting, updating on Facebook, converting visitors into leads, and more.  It’s a full funnel way to help you measure your inbound marketing initiatives.

Dedicating time and budget to regular online listening and monitoring will help you gather, analyze, and manage conversations about your brand in order to make educated inferences on the levels of engagement your content marketing efforts are generating.

This post was originally written by Mary Montserrat-Howlett.


Facebook Messenger launches scannable profile codes, just like Snapchat

As Messenger hits 900 million monthly users


Facebook is trying to make it easier to get in touch with people over Messenger, so it’s rolling out a number of new ways to start chatting. As with all Facebook accounts, all Messenger accounts will now have dedicated links that people can visit to start a chat — they’ll all be located at m.me/[username]. Facebook is also rolling out what it calls Messenger Codes, which are Messenger’s equivalent to Snapchat’s snapcodes. They look pretty neat: Messenger Codes are just a series of dots and dashes circling around your profile photo. When someone scans one with their camera, it’ll presumably add that person as a contact.

If you’re wondering why any of this is necessary, since there’s a very good chance you’re already Facebook friends with the people you’d be interested in chatting with, it’s important to look ahead to where Facebook wants Messenger to be by the end of the year. Messenger is no longer just a place where you chat with your friends: it’ll soon be a place where you can chat with companies and customer service bots, and have useful information sent to you — like your boarding pass for a flight. When you consider all of that, Messenger Codes make a lot more sense. If you want to start up a chat with a company’s customer service account, you just scan their code and get started.

facebook messenger codes-news-Facebook

Image credit: Facebook.Messenger Codes, like all Facebook products, are “rolling out gradually” — “But it shouldn’t be too long,” says Messenger leader David Marcus. Messenger profile links are already working. If you type in a friend’s username after m.me/, it should open up a chat with them on Messenger.com, Facebook’s dedicated Messenger site. Usernames on Messenger are the same username you use on Facebook itself.

In addition to announcing these new features, Facebook also announced a new milestone for Messenger: it now has 900 million monthly active users. That’s a big deal for Facebook, as it means it has yet another property nearing in on 1 billion monthly users. WhatsApp hit that mark in February; Facebook has been at that point for a while now, and in November it began averaging 1 billion active users each day.

It sounds like it might not be long before Messenger hits 1 billion, too. Messenger hit 800 million just three months ago, and hit 700 million just seven months before that. It’s already experiencing rapid growth, and with the addition of all the new services that Facebook is trying to build into Messenger, there’ll be even more reason to open up the app soon.


What’s Coming Next In Visual-Based Social?

This past week was Social Media Week around key locations around the world. You might find this quite insightful as we did


Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube all seem poised for an important year of growth and change.

When Facebook bought Instagram in 2012, there were just 40 million users.

Today that number has increased ten-fold to 400 million. It’s undoubtedly popular with millennials, a key demographic for marketers, with 32% of American teens rating it as their most important social network, ahead of Facebook on 14%.

This rise in the user base, combined with Instagram’s development of advertising features, will see continued growth of brands using the platform.

In 2015 33.2% of US brands with 100+ employees use Instagram for marketing activities. An eMarketer report predicts that number to rise to 48.8% in 2016, and 70.7% by 2017.

Search and Explore – keeping users in app

Echoing similar changes on Facebook, Instagram has recently updated its search function to provide a richer set of search results. The new Search and Explore aims to keep users in the app for longer by finding more content without leaving the app.

The updated Explore aims to make ‘discovery’ easier, highlighting trending stories and events in real-time. Search is now broken down by people, tags and places.

The fact that users can now follow trending stories as told through instagramers or explore food at a restaurant they haven’t visited yet opens up more opportunities for brands to communicate with customers.

Instagram influencers may become even more sought after as these trending images are pushed to the top of search results.

Updated Instagram Direct

It was over two years ago that Instagram first introduced direct messaging, but the service had limited features and was somewhat buried in the app. Now Instagram has updated the feature to allow threaded conversations, text conversations, group messaging and sending content from your feed.

Instagram says that nearly 40% of all comments on in the app are @mentions, demonstrating the desire for people to be able to send an image direct to a particular friend or group. So perhaps that’s all there is to it, and Instagram are just improving its functionality.

However, looking at Facebook’s strategy for Messenger, they made sure it became a vital and well used part of the service before introducing Messenger for Business, which as we saw in our Facebook trends post is a potential revenue stream going forward.

2016 may be too early for a similar introduction of messenger for business on Instagram, but we expect that to be the long term goal.

Instagram will want the service to become well used first, so expect these changes to increase usage, and further updates to improve functionality and popularity.

Buy Now button and updated advert formats

Recent changes to Instagram adverts have seen the video length double to 30 seconds, the introduction of landscape photos and videos, and a premium product called Marquee which gives brands mass awareness and reach for a short amount of time.

The Buy Now button has recently been rolled out in the US, following in the footsteps of Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. It allows people to buy without leaving the app, opening a new channel for retailers.

This rise of selling in social will create a new marketplace with a large audience, similar to amazon or ebay.

These features should drive an Instagram trend for 2016; a large increase in brands advertising and selling through the platform.

The growth in brands and users, the higher brand engagement on Instagram, and the almost inevitable restriction of organic reach (remember Facebook’s algorithm changes) should lead to much heavier brand presence and ad revenue for Instagram.

Fast user growth

Like Instagram, Pinterest has been enjoying fast user growth of late.

In May, Global Web Index reported that Pinterest is the fastest growing social network. While not as big as some of the older social sites, Pinterest surpassed100 million monthly active users in September.

Pinterest user numbers should continue to rise, and revenue will start to pick up too.

A leaked document seen by TechCrunch shows that Pinterest is forecasting active user numbers to grow from 151 million to 329 million, and revenue to increase from $169 million this year to $2.8 billion by 2018.

Visual search tool

Last month saw Pinterest announce a visual search tool that allows users to find information about objects and items simply selecting within an image.
While it’s a fun tool to use, its primary purpose of finding a specific item from within a larger pin lends itself to driving sales.

If you see an item you like within a pin, it would have been difficult to find out the name of that item or where you could buy it. Now you have a simple way to do just that.

This should help grow brand presence on the platform, and if successful may see Pinterest developing further features to assist in product search and discovery.

Buy Button rollout

As stated above, this year has seen many sites introduce a ‘buy button’. Pinterest has recently followed, initially rolling out the feature only in the US. At first Pinterest won’t make money from the buy button; the idea is to get users familiar with the button and with Pinterest as a place to shop.

At first, no buy button pins will be promoted.

We predict this soft rollout will be ramped up over the coming year, so expect more markets to feature the buy button. Promoted pins, Pinterest’s only source of revenue at present, will start to feature buy buttons to test the reception and familiarize users with the sight.

The user growth and revenue growth predicted rely on Pinterest getting this right.

Monetize too fast or aggressively and the network could start to lose users.

The potential is huge though: despite its smaller size, Pinterest drives more traffic to brand websites than any other site bar Facebook. It holds valuablepurchase intent data, more commonly held by Google’s search rather than social networks. The trend for 2016 will be slowly inching us closer to making purchases direct from the site, gradually releasing Pinterest’s revenue potential.

Youtube Red – Streaming service to rival Netflix?

While the amount of videos uploaded to Youtube continues to grow, it is not the dominant player it once was.

8 billion videos are viewed on Facebook everyday. Snapchat, Vine, Instagram and others are continuing to eat into Youtube’s historic dominance.

Youtube’s response is Youtube Red, an ad-free, high quality streaming service which also allows videos to be downloaded to watch later.

The recently announced Google Play Music Family Plan comes with Youtube Red included, helping to launch the service. The Wall Street Journal has reported that Youtube is investigating deals for streaming rights to TV shows and movies, in addition to creating it’s own content.

We are therefore predicting that in addition to the traditional Youtube video usage (there are still 400 hours of video uploaded every minute), the site will begin to look for other ways to grow the platform in the face of increased competition.

It will start to diversify by positioning itself as a rival to Netflix and Hulu, offering high quality TV and movie streaming.



The All-New Search and Explore with Instagram: See the World As It Happens

Two major updates to Instagram that will help connect community to the world as it happens: the all-new Explore page, with trending Tags and Places, and more powerful search that makes it easier to find the people, places, and tags you’re looking for.

With more than 70 million photos and videos posted to Instagram every day, wherever something is happening, chances are you can see it here. Whether it’s behind the scenes at the NBA Finals, on the runway with the latest fashion trend at a favorite club with a local band, people are capturing moments large and small on Instagram. But, until now, there’s never been an easy way to find these moments.

Reimagined Explore

Instagram completely reimagined the Explore page to make discovery on Instagram immediate and effortless. The new Explore now surfaces trends as they emerge in real-time, connecting you to events and conversations both near you and around the globe.

Through trending Tags and trending Places, you can experience moments like #bonnaroo or #fathersday from every perspective. Rich visual content captures everyone’s unique take — not just what the community is talking about, but also what they’re doing and seeing.

In addition, at the top of the Explore page you will find new curated collections that will be updated regularly, featuring interesting accounts and places, from musicians and extreme athletes to stunning architecture and gorgeous beaches.

Improved Search

For everyone on Instagram, the have dramatically improved the ability to find what you’re looking for. With the new Places Search, you can now peer in at just about any location on earth, allowing you to scout out your next vacation spot in the South Pacific, get a look inside that hot new restaurant or experience your favorite music festival — even if you couldn’t make it this year. The new Top Search also lets you search across people, places and tags all at once.

To learn more about the all-new Search and Explore, check out the Instagram Help Center.

Hashtag South Africa Radio

A Media Release on #FeesMustFall by South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry

A National Business Institution Statement to Fees Must Fall Protests

SACCI Media Release

Friday, 23 October 2015


In a statement issued today, the President of the South African chamber of Commerce and Industry (SACCI), Mr Vusi Khumalo, said:


Business is concerned by student protests regarding proposed university fee increases and the call for free tertiary education that take place under constraining demands on the fiscus for free basic education, access to health services, the provision of free basic water and electricity supply, reduction in crime levels and increasing social security needs.

The call for corporate South Africa to fund university education comes when companies are “feeling the pinch” as a result of the global downturn and low economic growth in South Africa. Nevertheless, a large number of bursaries and scholarships are available. The website bursaries-southafrica.co.za lists more than one hundred institutions that offer bursaries which cover all areas of academic interest. Many companies are also assisting staff members with funding for the education of their children. State owned enterprises such as Telkom, Eskom and Transnet offer hundreds of bursaries.

SACCI believes that the issue is greater than fees. Statistics reveal that one in four students graduate in regulation time (for example, three years for a three-year degree) and 55% of the intake never graduate. This has an impact on the cost of education. It is therefore necessary to identify and rectify the causes of the high dropout rate. Universities would be key in such a dialogue.

Operational costs incurred in maintaining a level of global recognition of the degrees awarded must be considered when determining fees including technology and teaching aids and cost of recruiting and retaining appropriately qualified teaching staff.

SACCI sympathises with the students and commends government for its interventions. However, it believes that a solution can be found if dialogue and negotiations between the social partners – government, business, labour, community and academia – takes place as a matter of urgency.


Contact: SACCI President    Mr Vusi Khumalo ( 083 307 0127 )

SACCI COO               Mrs Peggy Drodskie ( 082 562 7087 )

Kind Regards Tshidi Moatshe

   SACCI Communications    South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SACCI)

  Tel: +27 11 446 3800   Fax: 086 549 2662   Email: info@sacci.org.za

The South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SACCI) is proud to have achieved a BBBEE Level 2 Contributor status and a Procurement Recognition Level of 125%


Hashtag South Africa is the Social Media Agency guiding the SA Chamber. As part of our Connected Planet Mandate with the rest of the world.

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