Facebook Tracker: Riding High

Facebook stock (FB) looks to finish off February on an upswing.

The social media giant closed out last week with shares trading at $135.44. Monday opened a bit below, at $135.27, though prices leveled out as the morning progressed. At the time of writing, Facebook stock was trading at $137.10, up 1.22 percent from Friday's close and trending upward. At the time, Facebook’s estimated market cap sat at $395 billion even.

Though the numbers haven’t seen much net movement upward since mid to late January (when prices sat just below $133), Facebook has broken out of the minor dip in stock value it saw through November and December of last year and into the beginning of 2017.

Facebook continues to augment its services and functionality for businesses and users as a means to stave off the slowing growth.

In big data and analytics, as indicated last week in a company blog post, Facebook now has over 1 million apps, websites and bots using Facebook Analytics for Apps as a means to better understand, measure and optimize their products and services.

Along with the announcement, Facebook rolled out new features for its mobile analytics service, including the ability to directly compare a variety of user data for two customer segments as well as support for domain-level reporting.

“For example, an eCommerce business can use side-by-side comparisons to answer questions such as how many people are viewing their store’s weekly specials in their native iOS app vs. on their mobile website,” wrote Facebook software engineer John Connuck.

In the payments and fintech space, users of Facebook Messenger now have a way to transfer money internationally—via TransferWise chatbot. While Facebook already allows its U.S. users to send money domestically via Messenger, the company has yet to launch its own transfer services on the international market.

TransferWise has become one of Europe’s better-known payment firms since breaking on the fintech scene back in 2011. Customers in more than 50 countries send roughly $1 billion through its website every month. TransferWise's chatbot enables customers to send money to and from the U.S., the U.K., Canada, Australia, and a number of European countries.

The TransferWise chatbot can also be used to set up exchange rate alerts. Though it's getting its start on Facebook, TransferWise will likely adapt its chatbot transfer capabilities to function in a number other chat and messaging applications.

The move comes as messaging systems are becoming the next big channel for P2P money transfers. Earlier this month, PayPal reported it was building its first bot for competitor messaging service Slack to allow users in the U.S., U.K., Canada and Australia to send up to $1,000.

Perhaps the biggest recent update to Facebook comes on the site's business pages functionality. In a direct move into LinkedIn's territory, Facebook has added the ability for businesses to post job listings in the same space they use to post a status update. Job seekers now have the option to apply for the position, submitting the application via Messenger. The feature is currently available on Pages for businesses in the U.S. and Canada.

Additionally, Facebook may be able to make a new source of revenue out of job posting, said TechCrunch, allowing businesses to pay to turn posts into ads to reach more people directly in their feeds.

While LinkedIn has the brand recognition as the go-to social media platform for online job hunting, Facebook may have an advantage in terms of total user numbers—186 billion versus LinkedIn's some 467 million. If businesses take to the new feature, Facebook's other user-end functionalities, like the ability to share posts and tag others, could also give the social media site a distinct edge over the competition.

And since many of Facebook users access the site daily for any number of reasons, the job post functionality allows for a more passive or even incidental engagement with potential employment opportunities — something that LinkedIn doesn't allow for by design.

“Two-thirds of job seekers are already employed,” Facebook’s VP of Ads and Business Platform Andrew Bosworth told TechCrunch. “They’re not spending their days and nights out there canvassing for jobs. They’re open to a job if a job comes.”

If there's any irony here, it's that LinkedIn just rolled out a website redesign last month. The purpose was to drive growth in members using the platform as a source for external and native media, in part to compete with Facebook's news functionality.



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