For the past year, Facebook has warned Wall Street that the growth of its main revenue driver, News Feed ads, will slow down meaningfully going into the second quarter of 2017.
Now that Facebook is set to report its Q2 earnings after markets close on Wednesday, all eyes are on what are believed to be its next cash cows: Instagram and video ads.
Facebook has yet to disclose the revenue it makes from Instagram, but eMarketer predicts that the app will rake in $US3.92 billion in global ad revenue in 2017, up 106.3% from last year. To put that number into perspective, eMarketer has forecasted that Snapchat will generate just $US770 million in revenue in 2017.
Facebook is also spending to ramp up its original shows effort, which is expected to launch in its app’s redesigned video tab in the coming weeks. The social network plans to eventually monetise its exclusive shows and other videos through mid-roll ads, which are currently being tested with a handful of publisher partners.
Shares of Facebook are up roughly 40% this year, demonstrating assurance from investors that the company can diversify the sources of its revenue growth and continue to grow its user base.
“We see Street estimates likely moving higher for 2018 as the company ramps monetisation in Instagram including Stories ads, rolls out more FB original video content, begins to monetise Messenger, and sees slightly lower than forecast opex and capex growth,” Deutsche Bank analyst Lloyd Walmsley wrote in a note to clients last week.
Now that Facebook has coasted to 2 billion monthly users, investors will also want to hear about the company’s plans for growth in emerging markets, whether it be through internet-beaming drones or partnerships with local carriers.
The key numbers for Q2
Here are the expected numbers for Facebook’s Q2 earnings, based on analyst projections compiled by Bloomberg:
- EPS (GAAP): $US1.31
- Revenue: $US9.2 billion