Thursday, 29 September 2016

Brands need to adapt to grab messaging-app opportunities: Forrester                                                                                                                                                   
Brands need to adapt to grab messaging-app opportunities: Forrester
ASIA-PACIFIC - Messaging apps have become ubiquitous, with 3 billion consumers spending a lot of time on at least one app, but the options for interested marketers remain relatively immature. However that doesn’t mean brands shouldn’t take advantage of these channels, as they represent the ideal ‘relationship platforms’ for engaging with consumers on an individual basis. This is because messaging apps hold the elements that enable powerful relationships in a digital environment: frequency of use, emotional connection, and convenience.

 In its “The Future of Messaging Apps” report, research firm Forrester noted that there currently only two real forces in the space: Facebook and Asian apps. Asian apps lead with players such as WeChat, Line and KakaoTalk having expanded into use cases that are typically associated with marketing and ecommerce platforms. Facebook is currently the only one that competes at scale, due to its combined reach of WhatsApp and Messenger. Facebook is also catching up quickly to the more mature Asian apps, thanks to moves such as opening Messenger as a platform in 2015 and launching bots on Messenger, enabling brands to connect directly with users. For example, marketers will be able to integrate Messenger Codes into their online and offline marketing materials. Brands are just starting to tap into new capabilities like customer-care tools. For example, airline brand KLM is using Messenger plug-ins to allow customers to receive booking confirmations, check-in notifications, boarding passes, and flight-status updates. "Messaging apps will introduce a paradigm shift for marketers where interactive and contextual conversations will replace ad broadcasting," said Forrester analyst Thomas Husson in a blog post introducing the report. "New conversational interfaces will drive deeper relationships between consumers and brands." Forrester predicts that in the next 18 to 36 months; messaging apps will emerge to drive smart contextual services on branded accounts, usage of APIs, mobile commerce and payments, and internet-of-things connections. Like WeChat already does in China, the research firm expects most messaging apps to provide features and services throughout the customer lifecycle, during both the acquisition phases (discover, explore, and buy) and retention phases (use, ask, and engage).

 In addition, the next three to five years will see messaging apps rising in tandem with adjacent technologies. Technology innovation in natural language processing, semantic search, image and voice recognition, and especially AI will progressively blur the lines between messaging apps, bots, and voice-based assistants. “Together, these tools will create a new computing interface that will change how we interact with each other, with our connected environment, and with brands,” the report authors noted. To make the most of emerging opportunities in the messaging app space today, Forrester has the following recommendations for B2C marketers: Be human, helpful, and handy. Get consumers to speak to your brand. Get ready to serve customers in real time. Prepare for a variety of brand security and privacy threats.

Teen-Focused App Is the Music Industry's New Secret Weapon

The music press may not take Jacob Sartorius's music seriously, but the 14-year-old has roughly 10 million followers on the app and now tours for his fans. Portrait by Jared Soares
Dae Dae is a 23-year-old rapper with a toothy grin and long, blue-dyed dreads that flap up when he dances. He grew up poor in Atlanta's Boulevard/Fourth Ward and started rapping at ten years old. When his father got locked up for selling drugs, he took a job pouring concrete and doing flooring to support himself and his family. It was while pouring concrete that he came up with the words for his debut single, "Wat U Mean (Family to Feed)," a song with a hook that summed up his reasons for being there: "Got a family to feed, they dependin' on me."
Less than a year later, he signed a record deal with in-demand producer Nitti Beatz and got to work promoting the track. When it hit the internet last April, the music video for "Wat U Mean" enjoyed modest success, while online clips by two prominent Atlanta dance crews—SheLovesMeechie and Team NueEra—earned the song 2.5 and 1 million listens apiece. By summer, the song was making the rounds on the radio, reaching number 7 on the Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay chart on August 27 and 25 million hits on YouTube by September. According to Dae Dae, a catalyst for the song's success was, a music video-production and sharing app that few people have heard about in the Atlanta rap world.
Approximately 50 million people under the age of 21—or roughly half of the teens and preteens in America—are on is both a utility app and a social network. Users select from a menu of their favorite songs, then record a 15-second video of lip-synching, dancing, or clowning around to the music. There is also an in-app livestreaming feature called As with Instagram, its suite of editing tools and filters enables users to easily and speedily create content and then share it with their followers, who reward the videos they like with a dizzying proliferation of views, hearts, and comments. users who receive the most hearts over a given 24-hour period rise to the top of an in-app leaderboard displaying the most "popular" users—dubbed "musers"—at a given moment. Of particular interest to young artists like Dae Dae, there's also a song chart, ranking the most popular songs on the app.
Approximately 50 million people under the age of 21—or roughly half of the teens and preteens in America—are on, and a handful of that generation's most beloved viral stars got their start on the app. There's Baby Ariel, a 15-year-old Florida native who began uploading lip-sync videos to songs by Justin Bieber and Drake while living in her grandparent's house; as I'm writing this, she has 13 million followers on, does national tours with other digi-celebrities, and makes money off of sponsored editorial on her YouTube channel. And there's Jacob Sartorius, a former child actor from Virginia who debuted his first pop single, "Sweatshirt," to his roughly 10 million followers on the app. By September, the song—a tune about the 14-year-old heartthrob offering to let a girl wear his sweatshirt in case she's not yet ready to kiss—had more than 26 million views on YouTube. boasts more than 11 million video uploads per day from more than 120 million users worldwide; 64 percent of the app's American users fall within the coveted 13–24 demographic, and 75 percent are female. Hoping to capitalize on that audience, Dae Dae debuted a 15-second snippet of "Wat U Mean" on in August; to promote it, he hosted an in-app contest challenging listeners to make a music video of themselves performing his signature dance, where he languidly swings his arms in the air to the song's staccato "Aye" shouts. Since its inception, the challenge has yielded a staggering 153,719 responses, with scores of newly won fans performing their own renditions of the "Aye" dance.
"I definitely did connect with a lot of people on I wouldn't think even listen to rap music," Dae Dae told me via email. "This older guy made a video, and I was thinking he could be doing anything else with his time, but he took time out of his day to rock out to my song."
According to a representative from, the app drove a major spike in YouTube views for "Wat U Mean" and more than doubled iTunes sales from one week to the next, all through outgoing links on his user-profile page. D.R.A.M., an up-and coming rapper from Virginia, who has worked behind-the-scenes with Rick Rubin, noticed something similar happening with his Lil Yachty collaboration, "Broccoli." After his team released the music video on YouTube in July, they discovered that the song had already been charting on for months, garnering 30,000 videos without any direct promotional campaign. Today, more than 285,000 videos have been posted with #broccoli; thanks in part to the app, it was the summer's biggest sleeper hit.

Through, Dae Dae and D.R.A.M. gained access to the sort of impromptu secondhand promotion typically reserved for artists who already have rabid fan bases (think Drake's "Hotline Bling" video, which spawned a wave of memes that further spread the song). Beneath's ostensible function as a place where young people amuse themselves making videos for their friends, the app poses an eye-opening, potentially industry-disrupting question: Why try to promote your music all on your own when you can get fans to promote your work for you?

"Fans don't want to only receive new music; they really want to create and interact with this music," Alex Hofmann, president of North America, told me by phone from the company's San Francisco headquarters. The soft-spoken German helms the company with Alex Zhu, a self-titled "designtrepeneur" from Shanghai whom he met while working as a marketing director at SAP Labs, a Silicon Valley enterprisesoftware company. Zhu has said he came up with the idea for a combined music-video app and social network while riding the train one day, watching a group of teenagers taking selfies and listening to music. A month later, in July 2014, he and Shanghai based co-founder Luyu Yang launched an early iteration of in the iTunes app store.
Downloads were slow the first year. But in April 2015, after the company began allowing users to follow one another, favorite one another's posts, keep tabs on the highest-charting videos via a leaderboard, and remotely collaborate on videos via "duets," things started taking off. By July 2015, the app jumped from 1,450 downloads a day on average to half a million and landed the coveted number one position on iTunes. By March 2016, according to a TechCrunch report, had 60 million active users and $100 million in venture capital, at a $500 million valuation. Today, it employs around 100 employees in offices in California and Shanghai.
The music press has largely ignored, likely because Baby Ariel and Jacob Sartorius, two of the app's most visible faces, seem more like vlogger-style internet personalities than serious musicians. But many of the big-name rap and pop stars—and the labels that sign these musicians—have been paying attention for months. uses song snippets to entice users out of the app and to streaming sites where they can listen to—or purchase—the real thing.
Log on to, and you'll find a selection of songs by Wiz Khalifa, Fetty Wap, and Ty Dolla $ign to choose from; each has run promotional campaigns similar to Dae Dae's. According to, a campaign Arianda Grande did for "Into You" yielded 772,000 fan videos; Rihanna's #Work challenge generated 830,000 fan videos, which, per Hofmann, caused the hashtag for the song to start trending on Instagram. This summer, Hofmann also reported observing a direct, if delayed, correlation between songs charting on and songs that began charting on Billboard.
As Hofmann sees it,'s potential to transform the music industry stems from its emphasis on what folks in Silicon Valley call "digestible" content, using fragments of songs as advertisements for the whole. "It doesn't disrupt the flow on Spotify or Apple Music," Hofmann explained. In other words, uses song snippets to entice users out of the app and to streaming sites where they can listen to—or purchase—the real thing. "What the industry [is realizing] is [that] secondary consumption leads to primary consumption," he explained. "We don't take a piece out of the pie with We actually make the pie a little bigger."'s in-app editing tools simplify producing and sharing 15-second videos, which are soundtracked by users' favorite pop songs.
Lyor Cohen, a storied music executive with experience running major labels like Island Def Jam and Warner Brothers, is one of many in the industry who stand to profit from a larger pie. In 2012, he co-founded 300, an independent record label synonymous with the viral successes of rappers like Fetty Wap, Young Thug, and Migos, with a professed mission to harness social media to transform the music business. In 2014, 300 announced a partnership with Twitter and gained unparalleled access to the social network's stockpile of music-related data in exchange for helping the company develop yet-to-be-unveiled tools for A&R and marketing professionals. Cohen only had complimentary things to say about—in fact, his team encouraged Dae Dae and Nitti Beatz Recordings to try it in the first place.
"300 loves being the test-tube babies for innovations, particularly around products that incorporate music," Cohen told me by phone. He said Dae Dae's campaign resulted in a "dramatic increase in streaming and sales," and that 300 plans to run campaigns for other artists on the label, including Young Thug and Brooklyn post-punk band Mainland. "Something they're hitting is very powerful," Cohen said of the app.
Sebastian Begg, an A&R and artist manager at Interscope Records, said he noticed success similar to Dae Dae's with BUNT., a German electronic-folk duo that launched a twangy comeback single, "Old Guitar," on after some time out of the spotlight. By the end of the three-week campaign, the band saw its Spotify listener base increase from 86,000 monthly listeners to 902,000. Begg wasn't entirely surprised; the MIT grad had been meeting with Hofmann since around the time went number one in the app store. According to Begg, he'd advised Hofmann to develop as a tool not only for amplifying preexisting stars but also for launching new ones. "If you can contribute in breaking an artist, you will be a lean-forward platform," he told me. "That means that instead of being able to react to pop culture, you will be able to progress pop culture."
Business Insider reported that now offers its artists certain free-of-charge support services, such as connecting them with talent agencies, organizing meetups with fans, and even helping them to review some contracts. In June, news broke that had signed a deal with Warner Music Group, home of Atlantic Records, Rhino, Warner Bros. Records, and many more. Ayal Kleinman, the vice president of marketing at Warner Bros. Records, said he was unable to comment on the specifics of the deal, but said that it enabled the company and its affiliate labels to freely license music to and promote music on Hofmann added, by email, that has "formal relationships with all of the major record labels and music publishers," including Sony, Interscope Records, which is part of the Universal Group, and 300, which is distributed by Atlantic Records. When it comes to streaming sites like YouTube, iTunes, and Spotify, he wrote, " is in conversations with all three and will likely partner with one in the future."
But Kleinman said he sees the app less as a catchall marketing tool than a way of targeting a very specific demographic. "I know that there's a sweet spot in the demographics for the app, and it's definitely younger kids," he said. "In terms of the repertoire that we choose to promote on the app, it's going to be stuff that speaks to that audience. We're not putting more mature material on there."
Beyond the question of demographics, has limitations. Its emphasis on creating viral content out of hooks lends itself more to accessible pop fare than to the stylistically adventurous corners of music creation—a reality reinforced by the leaderboard and song-chart features, which suggest that the most popular content is what matters the most. may also be taking a grassroots promotion method and stripping the democracy out of it. If social media's biggest contribution to the industry has been to level the musical playing field, allowing artists without label backing to market their output themselves, then an app running promotional deals with the majors runs the risk of using the veil of digital meritocracy to mask a system that is innately rigged. Viewed in the most cynical light, could also be seen as a vehicle by which major labels can manipulate unsuspecting teens—drawn in by the app's entertainment value—to run their promotional campaigns for them.

Jacob Sartorius, a former child actor from Virginia who debuted his first pop single, "Sweatshirt," to his roughly 10 million followers on the app. Portrait by Jared Soares
Still, Hofmann stressed that he sees more as a "family" than a service. "Our goal is to have a platform that connects millions of people and allows them to express themselves," he said.
These days the company is focused on expanding internationally. Of the territories is in, it's seen strongest growth in Germany, the Netherlands, France, Mexico, Indonesia, and the Philippines; for countries with poorer-quality internet, the company has even introduced a lower-bandwidth version called lite. Hofmann told me the company now allows fans to compensate artists directly, by using to digitally deliver small sums of money—or "gifts"—to the artists they love.
In September, Hofmann's employees at North America were in the process of packing up their desks. This fall, they'll relocate to a new office in Los Angeles, in order to work more closely with the entertainment industry. It's a move that feels symbolic of the company's rapid rise from a tech-world startup to music-industry power player, like Apple and Spotify before it. Still, the full scope of its impact on that business remains just as mysterious as the day when Dae Dae woke up, opened the app, and saw thousands of people from around the world dancing to and lip-synching his song.

5 Ways to Make Your App Sell Itself
Apps have never been more popular than they are today, and no wonder: they add convenience to our personal and professional lives, entertain us, and provide mobile access to websites, services, and other products.
As more consumers jump on the mobile bandwagon, the app marketplace continues to swell with everything from business to entertainment applications. In the Google Play marketplace alone, there are more than 2.2 million apps.
Launching a new app that will get seen and downloaded by mobile users is no simple task in such a crowded market. App developers need to add marketing and promotion to their skillset, or outsource these tasks, to get any kind of visibility for their app online
What are the best ways to make your app stand out? Here are five tactics to gain traction and make your app start selling itself.
Developing an app is already a pretty costly venture. On the bright side, it’s much cheaper to market your app as you lead up to launch. Leveraging video should be at the top of your marketing strategy agenda. Consumers love it, it’s easy to digest, and it’s arguably the most effective method of communicating a story to an audience.
Beyond the story, video directly impacts the buying process for a majority of consumers. As many as 90% agree that product videos help them make purchasing decisions, and 64% of users are more likely to follow through with a purchase after viewing video.
I recommend creating more for your app than just a brief explanation video. Put in the investment to craft something immersive, entertaining, and relevant to the interests of your audience. Make sure that product video does more than just show off features for passive viewers.
The video for Jelly is a great example, as it scored more than 200k views:
If you have a limited budget for developing video, then take a cue from the reveal video of Tiny Wings 2. Even on a limited budget, you can still make a great clip. You just need to rely a little more on your creativity.

If you have the time and the budget for more than one video, you should absolutely create one or more teaser videos. A product video helps the app sell itself in an app store or on your website, but teaser videos will build the buzz leading up to your launch and give you the benefit of word-of-mouth marketing before you even release your app to the public.
Post those videos across multiple video hosting sites like YouTube and Vimeo, and be sure to provide a link and call-to-action back to your app page or the app store.

2. Optimize Every Aspect of Your App Page

For people to find your app online, you should optimize it for the words and phrases your audience is using to find solutions that match your creation. This is especially true for Apple’s app store and Google Play.
Optimization makes your app more discoverable, but you’re not just optimizing for the search algorithm of those marketplaces. You also need to optimize for the user. The description you use for your app should be concise, compelling, and focused on the value proposition.
It should clearly answer the question, “What do I get out of downloading this?”
Slack does an excellent job of utilizing keywords within a description of the most important benefits for the user.
To get an idea of what search phrases your audience might use to find you in the app store, check out the top apps similar to your own. Examine the content and try using a number of search queries related to your app, the solution you’re providing, and common problems it solves.
Pay attention to the 4- and 5-star reviews of the most popular apps; they’ll often contain positive keywords you can leverage for your own app.
Optimize the title, description, and keyword field for your application. Use similar optimization for the app page on your website, but don’t directly copy the content. Make sure the textual content is completely unique across your promotional channels so there are multiple avenues through which your customers can find you.

3. Leverage User-Generated Content

As your user base grows, you’ll start accumulating reviews and testimonials for your app. Reviews are important to the sales process, as more than 90% of consumers rely on peer reviews for making decisions and trust them more than brand advertisements.
Encourage users to leave reviews for your application after they’ve had a chance to use it. For more complex applications, such as mobile business apps for on-the-go professionals, solicit subscribers and ask if they can provide testimonials or results from their use of your app.

Testimonials and reviews should be in the spotlight on your website, and they can also be worked into updated videos and other marketing materials to develop the trust of your audience through social proof.
Reviews within the app marketplace itself are usually the most valuable because they directly impact app ranking and contribute to higher user conversions and app installation rates.

4. Reduce Friction

For an in-app purchase or download, the process is relatively simple. Click to download and within a few seconds, the app appears on the user’s device.
If you complicate the process more than that, expect to lose some prospects from friction. This is especially true if you have a sign-up, membership requirement, or registration form that prevent users from accessing your app’s features until they complete the initial process.
Understandably, you need the information for membership-based products and apps, like SaaS products, but you don’t need to collect every piece of information right off the bat.
There is already evidence that proves a reduction in the number of form fields can dramatically impact conversions for registration and opt-ins. Trim the information required to get started and eliminate that excess friction. You can always gather more information once they’re in the door.
Freshbooks is a prime example, since their sign-up is limited to just two fields. You can’t get more welcoming than that to get someone to sign up for your free trial.
The same technique was used during Obama’s presidential campaign. Eliminating form fields in the contribution section greatly reduced friction and lifted conversions for donors and other web visitors.

5. Make Social Your Main Feedback Channel

There are many benefits to having multiple methods for connecting with customers, but if you have a stellar model for customer service, then show it off to prospects and customers alike. Designate social media as your primary feedback channel.
This comes with several unique advantages:
  • Prospective customers clearly see how you and your team handle service-related issues, which can build trust and lead to a purchase
  • Brand/product visibility expands as prospective customers see their connections engage with you
  • There are no costs for monitoring and responding to customers in social media outlets
  • Reach and engagement will improve across the social channels you use, which should gradually spark more engagement from your followers
The greatest benefit is that your transparent, customer-centric approach will generate several new app downloads and memberships. It’s a win-win because you’ll be selling more to new customers just by supporting the customers you already have.


Success is never guaranteed with apps, especially considering the stiff competition and volume of apps currently on the market. However, if you accurately communicate the value and benefits, optimize your app’s description fields for visibility in search, lower barriers to entry, and utilize video to tell a compelling story, you’ll give your app the traction it needs to gain visibility among new and established audiences alike.

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

100 Fascinating Facts About Facebook
The Facebook Wall in its Sao Paulo office. Image source: Facebook.
I'm young enough not to be able to remember much of the internet before Facebook . I simply remember my internet use consisting of a lot of AOL Instant Messenger, shady peer-to-peer file sharing software, and those sites teenage boys inevitably discover. 
But Facebook has completely transformed the way we use the internet. In fact, some people in developing countries don't understand they're using the internet when they access Facebook on their phones.
Facebook has managed to grow well beyond anyone's expectations from a decade ago. It's grown beyond expectations from just four years ago, when the company's IPO was deemed a failure. It's now one of the biggest companies in the world.
Here, then, are 100 facts about Facebook investors should consider.
1. Facebook has 1.71 billion monthly users.
2. There are about 3 billion internet users worldwide.
3. Facebook has penetrated so much of the existing market of internet users that it's trying to figure out how to make more internet users.
4. It's using things out of science fiction novels such as solar-powered drones, lasers, satellites, rockets, and AI-powered software developed through its initiative to provide internet access to more people.
Image result for Facebook's Aquila drone in flight
Facebook's Aquila drone in flight. Image source: Facebook.
5. The fastest-growing market for internet users is India.
6. India's government rejected's Free Basics app, which offers free access to select internet services, on the grounds it violates net neutrality.
7. India's internet population grew about 40% last year, and it's accelerating.
8. Facebook has 142 million users in India.
9. It will soon surpass the U.S. as Facebook's largest market.
10. Facebook's average advertising revenue per user in the Asia-Pacific region, of which India is a part, was just $1.74 last quarter.
11. Facebook brought in $13.74 per user in the U.S. and Canada.
12. That $1.74 per user in Asia-Pacific is still more than Twitter's (NYSE: TWTR) global average ad revenue per user last quarter.
13. If the number of Facebook users in India grows another 40% this year, Facebook will add the equivalent of about one-fifth of Twitter's user base with about the same revenue potential.
13a. And that's just India.
Image result for Mark Zuckerberg with India's prime minister, Narendra Modi
Mark Zuckerberg with India's prime minister, Narendra Modi. Image source: Facebook.
14. Facebook is the second largest digital advertising company after Google, the Alphabet (NASDAQ: GOOG) (NASDAQ: GOOGL) subsidiary.
15. Facebook grew its advertising revenue 57% last year.
16. Google grew ad revenue just 17%.
17. Everybody else grew ad revenue just 13%.
18. Facebook's revenue growth is accelerating this year.
19. Revenue grew 56% in the first half of 2016, versus 40% in the first half of 2015.
20. Facebook CFO Dave Wehner says the company has mostly maxed out the number of ads it can place in users' news feeds.
21. Ad revenue growth will have to come from user growth, improved engagement, and increased ad prices.
22. It's a good thing everyone is addicted to Facebook.
22a. That is, if you're a Facebook investor.
23. Zuckerberg says the average Facebook user spend 50 minutes per day between Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger.
24. That's up 25% from two years ago.
25. Facebook is still extremely popular with millennials. No matter what anyone tries to tell you.
26. The average user between the ages of 18 and 34 spends more time on Facebook-owned social networks than the average time spent on Snapchat, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, LinkedIn, Google+, and Vine combined.
27. Facebook users watched more than 8 billion videos on its platform per day during the third quarter last year.
28. Facebook wants users and brands to "go live" with their video this year.
29. That's because users spend three times as long watching live videos compared with pre-recorded videos.
30. Facebook is paying celebrities and publishers more than $50 million to "go live."
31. It's now testing mid-roll ads for live streams.
32. Zuckerberg and Co. still haven't really figured out how to monetize all those video views.
Image result for facebook videos
Image source: Facebook.
33. Facebook has 3 million active advertisers.
34. It added about 100,000 new advertisers per month from October through February.
35. Twitter has just over 100,000 advertisers total.
35a. 130,000, to be exact.
36. Facebook has 60 million active businesses with pages on its network.
37. Facebook has consistently kept that 5% penetration rate since hitting 1.5 million active advertisers more than two years ago.
38. Twitter has penetrated only about 1.4% of businesses on its platform.
39. There are an estimated 420 million to 510 million small and medium-sized businesses worldwide.
40. If Facebook could get about half of those businesses to create pages and maintain its penetration rate, it could quadruple its active advertisers.
41. With stable ad loads and relatively modest user growth, the demand for advertisements will cause Facebook's average ad prices to climb.
42. Facebook's ad prices increased 9% last quarter thanks to "particularly strong" advertiser demand.
43. Many of Facebook's existing advertisers are spending more on average this year compared with last year.
44. Instagram ads were mostly cannibalistic last year, according to William Blair's Ralph Schackart.
Image result for instagram profile
Image source: Instagram.
45. It's expected to be more incremental this year, providing an additional avenue for growing spend from advertisers.
46. Instagram's average ad prices are three times higher than Facebook's on a cost-per-click basis.
47. Instagram just rolled out new business tools to make the platform more attractive to small and local businesses.
48. One of Facebook's biggest money makers are app install ads.
49. Citi estimates that 1.15 billion apps will be downloaded through marketing on Facebook properties this year.
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50. That's up 33% from last year.
51. Facebook generates an estimated $3.40 per app install.
52. That means Facebook will generate nearly $4 billion from app installs this year.
Image result for facebook app installs
Image source: Facebook.
53. Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) generated about $6 billion from app installs in 2015.
54. Apple's App Store generated 75% more revenue than the Google Play Store last year, according to estimates.
55. Which means Facebook is on pace to generate more revenue from app installs this year than Google's Play Store did last year.
56. There are over 1 billion users on Messenger.
57. And 1 billion on WhatsApp, too.
58. There are 50 million business accounts on Messenger.
59. Those business accounts exchange more than 1 billion messages per month with users.
60. Tencent's WeChat has "just" 806 million users.
61. And "only" 10 million businesses.
62. LINE has 157 million users.
63. And 2 million official brand accounts.
64. Both generate more revenue than either Messenger or WhatsApp.
65. Which will bring in a combined $0 for Facebook this year.
66. WeChat generates more than $7 in revenue per user, according to estimates.
Image result for wechat
Image source: WeChat.
67. The vast majority of WeChat's users are in Asia, where Facebook generated $6.32 per user over the past 12 months across all of its platforms.
67a. Again, none of that came from its messaging apps.
68. LINE generated $1.2 billion in revenue last year from games, stickers, and advertisements.
69. LINE currently has a market cap of around $9.6 billion.
70. Facebook bought WhatsApp for $21.8 billion in cash and stock.
71. It also bought Oculus for $2 billion in cash and stock.
72. The Oculus Rift is seeing "increasing demand from retail as stores plan for the holidays."
73. Zuckerberg says, "Virtual reality has the potential to be the next computing platform that changes all our lives."
74. More than 1 million people already use Oculus on their phones through Samsung Gear VR.
Image result for oculus rift
Image source: Oculus.
75. Zuckerberg says he doesn't really want to make big acquisitions as he did with Oculus and WhatsApp.
76. But Zuckerberg could soon have a lot of cash to spend if he wants.
77. Facebook's free cash flow over the past 12 months was $7.6 billion.
78. Its cash reserve reached $23.3 billion last quarter.
79. Analysts expect the company to produce $26 billion in free cash flow by 2020.
80. That's more than Microsoft currently generates ($25 billion TTM).
That's supposed to be Mark Zuckerberg diving into a pile of money. Image source: Getty Images.
81. But analysts don't have a very good track record forecasting the long term for Facebook.
82. In 2013, the consensus estimate for Facebook's earnings in 2017 was just over $2 per share.
83. Facebook already generated $1.74 in non-GAAP EPS in the first half of 2016.
84. Now analysts are expecting earnings of $5.04 per share in 2017.
85. The average 2020 estimate (for those so bold) is $9.64 per share, adjusted for stock-based compensation.
85a. Set a reminder now to come back to this article in four years.
86. Facebook currently trades for about 25 times next year's earnings estimate.
87. Alphabet trades for about 19 times next year's earnings estimate.
88. Microsoft trades for about 18 times next year's earnings estimate.
89. Even if Facebook's earnings multiple falls to somewhere between Alphabet's and Microsoft's over the next three years, the stock would still be worth around $180.
89a. That's assuming the analysts have it right this time.
90. That's an annual return of about 11.7% from today's price.
91. Zuckerberg's net worth is about $55.4 billion.
92. That makes him the the fifth wealthiest person in the world, behind Microsoft's Bill Gates, Zara's Amancio Ortega, Berkshire Hathaway's Warren Buffett, and's Jeff Bezos.
93. Zuckerberg is just 32 years old.
94. The next youngest billionaire in the top five is Jeff Bezos (52).
95. If Zuckerberg can increase his wealth 11.7% per year, on average, he'll be a trillionaire before 60.
95a. To paraphrase Justin Timberlake's version of Sean Parker, "A billion dollars isn't cool. You know what's cool? A trillion dollars!"
95b. Also, the idea of a trillionaire is so ridiculous that Microsoft Word is telling me it's a spelling error.
96. Facebook stock has increased an average of 32% per year since its IPO at $38 per share.
96a. At that pace, Zuckerberg would be a trillionaire in 10 years.
97. Gates' net worth reached $100 billion in 1999, when he was 43.
98. He's now worth "just" $79.5 billion at 60 years old.
98a. So, projecting that far into the future is a bit dubious.
99. Both Zuckerberg and Gates have pledged to donate the vast majority of their wealth to charity.
100. Now that I'm finished writing this article, I'm looking up ways to qualify myself as a charitable organization.

Sheryl Sandberg: Facebook's 4 Million Advertisers Are 'Proof' Of The Power Of Mobile
Facebook’s chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg. Facebook announced on Tuesday it reached 4 million active advertisers. (Associated Press)
When it comes to advertising, small screens are the new big screens.
This is what Facebook  chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg says the company’s latest milestone — announcing 4 million advertisers on Tuesday — signifies about the growing importance of mobile to consumers and marketers. And while the majority of advertisers on Facebook are small- and medium-size businesses, Sandberg said many small businesses still need to catch up.
“This is a big announcement for us — 4 million advertisers,” Sandberg said in a phone interview. “We think it’s another proof point of the story we’ve seen for years, which is the move to mobile.”
Mobile dominates Facebook’s advertising engine. In the second quarter, mobile advertising made up 84% of total sales in the quarter, up from 72% in the same period a year earlier. Mobile ads, in particular, mobile video formats, have been key to driving Facebook’s impressive revenue growth.
The company’s global ad revenue is expected to total $23.31 billion this year, says forecasting firm eMarketer, making Facebook the largest ad publisher after Google. Facebook has also found success offering mobile ad campaigns across its flagship app and Instagram, which is forecast to generate about $1.5 billion this year, thanks to the app’s popularity among millennials. Facebook first announced 3 million active advertisers just six months ago.
“You’re seeing our accelerating pace of growth, and what this shows is this is working,” Sandberg said. “We’re delivering results for small businesses and helping people connect with customers where they are, which is on mobile.”
Sandberg described mobile devices as “the fastest adoption of a consumer communications technology the world has ever seen,” noting that Facebook’s biggest opportunity lies in small businesses. 
“The small screen is now big, because the small screen can do big things,” Sandberg continued. “This is now a really important place to reach customers, both because this is where customers are, but also because this is an exciting creative canvas.”
Sandberg noted that while 60 million businesses around the world are active Facebook Page users and the majority of Facebook advertisers are small- and medium-sized businesses, a significant number of small businesses struggle to manage their online presence. A third of small businesses in the U.S. don’t have a web page — and standalone mobile apps are even harder to build and get people to visit.
“While the small screen creates opportunity, it’s actually pretty hard for small businesses,” Sandberg said. Facebook has intentionally made business Pages as easy to start and maintain as personal Facebook profiles, especially on mobile devices, as many business owners manage Facebook Pages and ad campaigns on-the-go, the company said.
“We’ve worked hard to make our ads very easy to use, very simple, low cost and high ROI,” Sandberg added. 
Facebook’s VP of global SMB Dan Levy said a top priority for Facebook is capturing the investment of small businesses that already have active Facebook Pages but don’t yet buy ads on the platform. Part of Facebook’s strategy is to make Pages as valuable as possible for businesses, even before they consider ad campaigns, Levy said.
“What I hear from small businesses around the world is their time and their money is precious, and we want to be the best minute and the best dollar that they spend every day,” Levy said. “We want to be number one growth driver for their business.”
Levy said Facebook is the “leading place” to run a video ad campaign as a small business. He said the number of advertisers using video ads is seeing “great growth” — as consumers seek more video content, they come to expect more video ads, he said. Levy said more than 20% of Facebook’s advertisers — about 800,000 businesses — have created a video ad in the last month, creating about 4 million video ads during that period.
“Video is a great chance to engage with sight sound and motion, and mobile is opening up new opportunities,” Levy said. “Over the past five to 10 years, only a fraction of those businesses could create a video ad because of the expense and technology required. Now with just a phone and a few simple tools, they can create compelling ad content to drive their business forward.”
Facebook said its fastest growing region for advertising is South East Asia, and its top five countries based on year-over-year growth are the U.S., Brazil, Vietnam, Mexico and the U.K. More than 85% of active business Pages use mobile, and 40% of active advertisers have a created a Facebook ad on mobile, the company said. The large majority of Facebook advertisers are outside of the U.S.
Last week, Facebook apologized for overestimating the average viewing time for video ads on its platform for two years. Facebook said that its metric for the average time users spend watching videos was inflated because it only considered video views of more than three seconds. Facebook said it was launching a new metric to address the problem. In a post on Facebook, the company’s VP of advertising and global operations David Fischer said Facebook takes “any mistake seriously” and that the error “has not and will not going forward have an impact on billing or how media mix models value their Facebook video investments.”
This error should not stand in the way of our ultimate goal, which is to do what’s in the best interest of our partners and their business growth,” Fischer said in his post.