Facebook reported on Thursday (July 30) that small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) turned to the company’s ad platforms to connect with customers amid the pandemic, according to second-quarter earnings results.
Management said ad impressions were up 40 percent, and its average price per ad fell 21 percent during the quarter.
The ranks of Facebook users also swelled during the pandemic, at a time when many people globally still might be confined to their homes.
Daily active users (DAUs) for Facebook were up 12 percent year over year to 1.79 billion on average for June, while monthly active users (MAUs) were also up 12 percent year over year to 2.7 billion as of June 30.
The company, however, acknowledged that it expects the Facebook DAUs and MAUs to even out or slightly decrease in many parts of the world in the third quarter as compared to the second quarter as “shelter-in-place restrictions continue to ease.”
As ad revenue recovered in May and June, Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg said the company logged ad revenue of $18.3 billion for the second quarter, marking a 10 percent year-over-year rise.
“This demonstrates not only our resilience as a company, but a wider trend that has been underway for some time. People are spending more and more time online, so businesses need to be online too. This was true long before the pandemic, but it is especially true now that people can’t always get together in person,” Sandberg said.
CEO Mark Zuckerberg said Facebook is speeding up the pace of its work on helping SMBs sell online. For one, it recently rolled out Facebook Shops, which lets businesses make one store that customers can access via Facebook and Instagram.
“That is scaling quickly,” Zuckerberg said. “We’re going to have more to share there soon.”
Sandberg said the company recently rolled out the Business Nearby tool to help people locate businesses in their communities, while it will keep developing Shops to make eCommerce simple and fast.
Sandberg also noted that the company rolled out its business resource hub in March to offer complimentary training and resources. The executive said more than 20 million people have visited since then.
“We know making tools available is not enough,” Sandberg said. “We also need to ensure business owners have the digital skills to use these tools effectively.”
Sandberg said over 9 million advertisers currently use the platform to reach audiences interested in the company’s offerings.
Zuckerberg also noted that Facebook has created grant programs to assist SMBs amid the pandemic, with the inclusion of a $100-million initiative to support them.
As far as its overall results, Facebook reported diluted earnings per share of $1.80 on $18.7 billion in revenue for the second quarter. Analysts were expecting $1.39 in earnings per share on $17.4 billion in revenue.