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State of the Screens

Facebook’s Q2 Earnings: Lost in the Metaverse

By August 5, 2022No Comments

Big news #1: Meta posted its first-ever YoY decline in advertising revenue.

Meta advertising revenue (YoY growth):
1) 2015-Q2 – $3.8B
2016-Q2 – $6.2B ( 63%)
3) 2017-Q2 – $9.2B ( 47%)
4) 2018-Q2 – $13.0B ( 42%)
5) 2019-Q2 – $16.6B ( 28%)
6) 2020-Q2 – $18.3B ( 10%)
7) 2021-Q2 – $28.6B ( 56%)
8) 2022-Q2 – $28.2B (↓ 1%)

Big question #1: What is driving the drop in revenue?

Quick answer: Falling ad prices with little increase in ad impressions.


Meta daily active users in the U.S. & Canada (YoY growth):
1) 2015-Q2 – 164M
2016-Q2 – 175M ( 7%)
3) 2017-Q2 – 183M ( 5%)
4) 2018-Q2 – 185M ( 1%)
5) 2019-Q2 – 187M ( 1%)
6) 2020-Q2 – 198M ( 6%)
7) 2021-Q2 – 195M (↓ 2%)
8) 2022-Q2 – 197M ( 1%)

Meta advertising revenue per user in the U.S. and Canada (YoY growth):
1) 2021-Q2 – $53.01
2) 2022-Q2 – $50.25 (↓ 5%)

Big news #2: Instagram is going full TikTok and adopting a feed that includes more content from outside of your social network.

Why this matters:  Facebook’s bread and butter has been a feed of content powered by the social graph (your connections). Now they are reacting to TikTok’s rapid growth by copying their bread and butter (algorithmic driven content).

Average monthly time spent per user according to Scott Galloway:
1) TikTok – 25.7h
2) Facebook + Instagram – 23.9h

Big question #2: How much Instagram content is shifting over to a TikTok-style feed?

Share of Instagram content served outside social graph:
1) Currently – 15%
2) End of year – 30%

Big question #3: How are Instagram users reacting to the change?

Quick answer:  Not well.  A petition has been launched on to Make Instagram Instagram Again.

Big question #4: Will this change solve Meta’s revenue problems?

Quick answer: No.  Content served in a format like Instagram Reels demands lower ad prices than the traditional news feed.

Quote from Casey Newton – Founder and Editor @ The Platformer:
“Can Meta manage two pivots at once? Indeed, Meta is trying to build an entirely new way of computing/internet with its investments in the Metaverse. And now it’s also trying to completely revamp what the current Web 2 Facebook is – as in, it’s no longer a newsfeed for your friends’ rants or kids pictures, but a place where you find all sorts of random would-be viral videos from strangers.”

Quote from Mike Shields – Founder @ Shields Strategic Consulting:
“This is both a global social experiment the likes of which we’ve never seen, on top of a massive economic overhaul where the currencies, rules, and valuations are being completely rewritten.”

More: Instagram Reels vs TikTok: Differences, Features, & Tools 2022

Michael Beach

Michael Beach is the Chief Executive Officer of Cross Screen Media, a media analytics and software company that enables marketers to plan, activate, and measure CTV and linear TV at the local level. Michael is also the founder and editor of State of the Screens, a weekly newsletter focused on video advertising that is a must-read for thought leaders in the advertising industry. He has appeared in such publications as PBS Frontline, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Axios, CNBC and Bloomberg, and on NPR’s Planet Money podcast.