Facebook Under Pressure Due To Content


Facebook was founded 14 years ago in a dorm room of a Harvard student. Today it has over 2.5 billion active users. That is nearly half of all the adults on earth. The kind of power and influence of social media is unprecedented to the human race. We have never dealt with anything like this before and we are learning as we go. That applies to the regulators, the users and the social media organisations. What makes it even more complicated is that social media sites have no borders. This is a truly global phenomenon.


WhatsApp Pay Introduced in Brazil


We recommend Facebook shares to holders of accounts with us in New York. Not everyone seems to love this company, as they do attract a bit of negative attention from time to time. Facebook users tend to be older and prone to circulating conspiracy theories. The site also carries a lot of political advertising, which gets people steamed up. Their other main platform is Instagram, which is full of attractive influencers getting up to no good. Mark Zuckerberg is controversial, and so on.


Facebook Launches Shopping


Facebook is coming in hot for online shopping. Adverts are by far their biggest revenue stream but it makes good sense for consumers to just buy the goods advertised straight through the platform.


Facebook to Buy Giphy for $400m


​According to a report by Axios, Facebook is said to be buying the GIF-making and sharing platform Giphy for $400 million, with plans to integrate the GIF repository into Instagram and other apps that Facebook owns. Giphy is by far one of the biggest GIF repositories on the internet today which helps offer tools to create, share and remix GIFs.


Facebook Q1 - 3 Billion MAU


Last week Facebook released Q1 results which comfortably beat expectations. Revenues grew by 18% versus this time last year. Expectations were for 13% growth. As we have spoken about before, Facebook user engagement should increase nicely during the global shutdown but advertising spend will drop. Advertising is 98.3% of all their revenues.


Facebook's Increased Usage In Lockdown


What about Facebook? How is it doing on planet Covid-19? There are currently 311 Vestact clients who own Facebook shares in their New York portfolios. The aggregate value of those holding is $10 207 448.


Shopify Joins Libra


I think that Facebook's Libra will be a game changer for the international payments space, and by extension entrench the Facebook platform in all or our lives. The first step though is to stop calling it Facebook's cryptocurrency. In reality, Facebook initiated the concept but when it comes to control of the new currency, they don't have any more say than other member companies.


WhatsApp Hits 2 Billion Users


The worlds most popular messaging app, WhatsApp revealed how massive it has become since starting 11 years ago. The Facebook owned app hit 2 billion users, up from 1.5 billion 2 years ago. The mother company Facebook, which recently hit 2.5 billion users, is the only other platform with over 2 billion users.


Facebook Q4 - Beat But Stock Down


Facebook reported its Q4 results last night, and they were in line with expectations. Revenue was up 25% compared to the same period last year. Earnings per share were $2.56 which was modestly above consensus at $2.53. In the absence of much to cheer about the stock price fell in after-hours trade, by 7%.


Facebook Keeps Ads Off Whatsapp


The Wall Street Journal is reporting today that Facebook management has decided to avoid putting ads on WhatsApp. That's great news for all of us using the service (more than 1.5 billion people around the world).


WhatsApp For Business


More and more people I talk to are doing business on Whatsapp. Our very own Vestact Superheroes group is very active, especially when we are not all in the office at the same time. I also find myself chatting to clients a lot more on WhatsApp. It really is a convenient method of communication.


Facebook Q3 - Users and Profits Grow


On Wednesday night Facebook reported quarterly numbers that were ahead of analyst expectations. The company had revenues of $17.7 billion which allowed them to generate a profit of $6 billion. Just to put that in Rand terms, they make R90 billion in profits every three months, or R30 billion every month. Discovery's market cap is R80 billion, that means Facebook could buy Discovery with one quarter's worth of profits. The key to the Facebook business model is the number of people using the platform. The graph below shows how their monthly active users (MAU), has continued to grow. They added around 200 million people to the platform over the last 12 months.


Facebook Buys Ctrl


This sounds futuristic but the headline is true. Facebook agrees to acquire brain-computing start-up CTRL-labs. And the company is not coming for free, it will cost between $500 million and $1bn. Remember, $1bn is what they paid for Instagram.


WhatsApp Has 400 Million Users in India


A big part of the Facebook stable is WhatsApp, where the company has yet to unlock the applications full potential. Getting the user base was the first challenge, now they need to figure out a way to monetise without reducing user experience. The huge potential for growth from WhatsApp is one of the reasons why we own Facebook shares.


Facebook $5bn FIne


The Wall Street Journal reported late on Friday that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has agreed to fine Facebook a record-setting $5 billion on Friday for privacy violations. This makes me mad.


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