Facebook warns of targeting limitations, says Checkout will take time

Facebook reported another record quarter on Wednesday, but warned that privacy regulations will limit ad targeting capabilities and slow future revenue growth. Company has announced Revenues of $ 21.1 billion for the fourth quarter of 2019, an increase of 25% over the year. Advertising, which continues to account for nearly all of Facebook's revenue, reached $ 20.7 billion, an increase of 25% over the fourth quarter of 2018.

The company reported that daily active users (SADs) on the platform reached $ 1.66 billion – up 9% compared to the fourth quarter of 2018. Also, monthly active users (AMAs) increased by 8% year over year, reaching 2.5 billion. Facebook does not report separate figures for its other properties, Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger, but estimates that about 2.3 billion people used at least one of its services daily and that about 2.9 billion people were active on a monthly basis .

Advertising revenue hampered by privacy challenges. This was the fourth consecutive quarter where Facebook advertising revenue growth was below 30%. The company's executives told investors to expect Facebook's revenue growth rate in the first quarter of this year to slow as compared to 25% year-over-year growth. "The factors leading to this slowdown include the maturity of our business, as well as the growing impact of global privacy regulations and other headline-oriented ads," said Dave Wehner, CFO, in the earnings call. . He noted the limitations of targeting and measuring in browsers that limit signals from third parties, his own movements of the company, such as launch this month of Off Facebook Activity controls and the privacy regulations – GDPR, CCPA – are still enough: "(T) most of the impact is before us."

Commercial experiences. "(We) are very focused on Facebook ads, … the sea, the sea, the vast majority of activity are commercials on Facebook – we had a very strong holiday season," said COO Sheryl Sandberg. The company intends to continue its improvement and expansion Checkout features on Instagram and Facebook for users and businesses, but they will require "full integration" and will take time, Sandberg said. Facebook has expanded Shopping ads to all global advertising agencies in the last quarter, but Sandberg warned that it will continue to move slowly in the trade: "… we want to make sure the whole experience is even overboard before going any further. deep down and widen. ‚ÄĚThat means most advertisers will have to wait for Checkout initiatives to run more fully.

Why we care. Trade is an area where a lot of innovations are happening that will improve, allowing better experiences for customers and, in turn, the results of the campaign. We can expect to see Facebook continue to invest heavily in this area, however, Sandberg's comments clearly indicate that it should temper our expectations in terms of e-commerce.

Above all, with privacy regulations, browser breakdown on third-party cookies and increased control over data practices, Facebook's warning of slower ad growth is a signal to digital advertisers about what's to come. Beyond Facebook campaigns, advertisers should anticipate substantial changes and limitations on the levels of targeting and attribution that many have assumed.

Highlight Facebook 2019 Q4:

Total quarterly revenue: $ 21.1 billion, a 25% increase for the fiscal year
Total revenues throughout the year: $ 70.7 billion, up 27% year-over-year
Advertising revenue: $ 20.7 billion, an increase of 25% for the fiscal year
Daily Active Users (SADs): 1.66 billion, with a 9% increase in the fiscal year
Monthly Active Users (MAU): 2.50 billion, an increase of 8% of the fiscal year
Facebook totally engaged: 44,942 as of December 31, 2019, up 26% from the previous year

About the author

Taylor Peterson is the deputy editor of Third Door Media, which manages industry-leading coverage that informs and inspires marketers. Based in New York, Taylor brings marketing expertise based on creative production and advertising agencies to global brands. Taylor's editorial focus combines digital marketing and creative strategy with topics such as campaign management, emerging formats and display advertising.

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