The Gusher of Good Feeling About Facebook

Facebooks’ fourth-quarter and full-year earnings, released on Wednesday, were fantastic.  About the only thing more fantastic was the coverage, most of which put the awe in fawning.

USA Today crooned: “Facebook's success in drawing large crowds has endeared it to marketers and advertisers, and for good reason. The social network’s dominance in mobile grew: Monthly active members accessing Facebook via a mobile device soared to 1.59 billion in its recently-completed fiscal fourth quarter, or 90% of its members. That's more than the most-populous country, China, with 1.3 billion people. Twitter, by comparison, has 320 million members.”

Said Lance Ulanoff on Mashable: “As I listened to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg answer questions on their 2015 full-year earnings call on Wednesday, I couldn’t help but think about the amount of runway this company has ahead of it. It’s still growing at a breakneck pace, countering the flat trajectory of U.S. and Canada growth with leaps from Asia, Europe and the 'Rest of the World.' Two-thirds of those on Facebook, 1 billion people, check in every single day and Facebook is converting them, making mounds of advertising revenue. Last year advertising revenue (much of it from mobile) grew 57%.”

At Re/Code, a story says that Gawker founder Nick Denton seems to be backtracking from his attitude a year ago. Then he said (the once-feistier) Web site couldn’t afford to be “dependent” on Facebook’s mighty reach to be successful.

But now he tells Re/Code: “Who is best positioned in this world to target ads against categories of users? Who knows the most about those users? Who can supply the most relevant ads in a way that doesn’t degrade the experience? I think Facebook is, in contrast to much of the ad tech ecosystem, a coherent strategy and I think they can provide a better experience.”  

The headline on the Re/Code piece says a lot: “Nick Denton Says Facebook Is the Boss and Gawker Will Fall In Line.”

At a certain point you can’t argue with success, and with overwhelming success, you can’t do much but sit there slack-jawed and take it in.

Example: Zuckerberg said yesterday that 500 million people watch Facebook videos every day, and those people watch an amazing 100 million hours of it. Every day. Another figure hard to digest is that Facebook reported, in September, that it is now has. 2.5 million advertisers. Stunning.

After the earnings were released, Reuters said “at least 22 brokerages raised price target on Facebook's stock, with most analysts focusing on a far better-than-expected the 81 percent jump in revenue from mobile ads.” Piper Jaffray raising its target to $170 per share from $155.

Curiously, amid all this super-upbeat news, my good, good friend Zuckerberg on Wednesday also said Facebook will, after months of research, finally unveil six new emotions users will be able to click to describe their reactions to their friends’ posts. Those will including “angry” and “sad” instead of just plain, old "like."

“We want people to share all the things that are meaningful to them, not just the things that are happy,” Zuckerberg said. But you've got to believe these days, his heart can’t be much into that project.

I mean, what’s not to “like”?

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