Facebook Marketplace Boasts 1B Active Users In Q1; Instagram, WhatsApp Expand eCommerce

Facebook managed to come out ahead of analyst predictions for both earnings and revenue performance when it reported its first-quarter results for 2021 on Wednesday (April 28), pushing its stock price upwards in after-hours trading even as it warned investors to brace for the uncertainty ahead.

Revenue for the quarter came in at $26.17 billion for the quarter, up 48 percent year on year, while net income picked up 94 percent to $9.5 billion, from $4.9 billion this time last year. That big revenue bump, according to Facebook, came care of a 30 percent year-on-year increase in ad revenue Facebook enjoyed during the first quarter of 2020 A trend Facebook warned investors would likely ease off as 2021 progresses, as the social media giant told investors its expectations that revenue growth to remain stable or accelerate modestly in the second quarter before more notably declining in, in the third and fourth quarters to significantly particularly when stacked up against the high growth periods of Q3 and Q4 2020.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg also spent some time lauding Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp Efforts building out their eCommerce offerings footprints over the last year.

“Commerce have been growing in our services for a while, but it has become a lot more important as the pandemic has accelerated a broader shift towards businesses moving online,” Zuckerberg said in his call with investors, noting that Facebook Marketplace claims 1 billion active users and highlighting its ongoing efforts to upgrade Instagram tools to give content creators more options for leveraging the service to make money.

The hope, he noted, is that by giving Instagram content creators more avenues to bring revenue, Facebook will draw an ever-increasing number of influencers to the Instagram platform.

“If we become the best place for creators to make a living that’s going to mean that there’s better content across the services and better opportunities for community building and engaging people,” Zuckerberg noted. “And that’s what we care about.”

Across properties, Facebook currently counts 3.45 billion monthly users, up from 3.30 billion in the previous quarter.  In the U.S. and Canada, Facebook’s user base remained flat at around 195 million daily active users for the second consecutive quarter, while in Europe, active users increased to 309 million, up from 308 million last quarter.

Despite strong results, Facebook was quick to call out potentially coming headwinds in the rest of 2021 — including changes to the latest edition of iOS that Facebook believes may make it more difficult for the company to personalize ads for iPhone and iPad users, and may give Apple a leg up in promoting is competitive analogs to Facebook products like Messenger on their home devices as well as potential regulator headwinds that could prove challenging in the back half 2021.

Wall Street, however, liked what it saw out of Facebook’s earnings — as the firm’s stock was trading up after hours upon the earnings’ reports’ release.