Facebook users keep clicking on ads, pointing to strong fourth quarter results


Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg walks to meetings for technology regulations and social media issues in Washington on September 19, 2019.

Brendan Smialowski | AFP | Getty Images

Facebook users are clicking on more ads than before, according to the company’s own tools that are provided to advertisers, suggesting the company will announce strong fourth quarter results on Wednesday.

Despite the mounting antitrust investigations into the social media company, user engagement with Facebook ads continued to climb through the second half of 2019, according Audience Insights, a Facebook tool that is used by advertisers to gather data about specific demographics they can target with ads.

The rise in engagement is good news ahead of the company’s fourth-quarter earnings report on Wednesday, which comes after a year in which four separate antitrust-focused investigations into Facebook were launched.

Specifically, Facebook has seen an increase in the median number of ads clicked by users on the service from July 2019 to January 2020, according to Audience Insights. However, the median number of comments and likes has remained unchanged compared to the previous six-month period

In the U.S., monthly median engagement levels between July 18, 2019 and Jan. 16, 2020 changed as follows:

  • Posted comments remained at 8.
  • Posts liked remained at 13.
  • Ads clicked rose from 17 to 19.

Across the globe, the monthly median changes were similar:

  • Posted comments remained at 5.
  • Posts liked remained at 13.
  • Ads clicked rose from 11 to 12.

Meanwhile, in the U.K., the monthly median changes were:

  • Posted comments remained at 8.
  • Posts liked remained at 16.
  • Ads clicked rose from 16 to 19.

The data is based on a rolling measurement of activity over the previous 30 days.

“Facebook continues to be a landing place for its core demographic of older millennial — boomers, and despite all the negative publicity, the platform has remained a key meeting place for people and will remain a ripe locale for advertisers to spend money,” aid Daniel Newman, principal analyst at Futurum Research, which focuses on digital technology.

Facebook claims 2.8 billion monthly users across its suite of services, including 1.62 billion daily Facebook users.

A key growth area for Facebook is the company’s Stories features, which are full-screen photos and videos users can post on Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger. The company in April said its Stories features each have more than 500 million daily users.

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