Facebook’s push into e-commerce features is starting to pay off. Facebook Marketplace, the Craigslist-like service where users buy and sell with each other, now has one billion users, Mark Zuckerberg shared in an update during the company’s latest earnings call. He also revealed that there are more than a million Shops, with more than 250 million users interacting with those storefronts each month. Facebook launched the feature, which lets businesses create product catalogs on their pages, last year.
Zuckerberg noted that e-commerce has “become a lot more important” during the coronavirus pandemic. It also allows Facebook to find new ways to make money off its services. For example, the CEO said the company would allow business owners to buy Facebook ads that open directly in WhatsApp from the WhatsApp Business app. And Instagram plans to allow influencers to run their own shops on the app.
“We're investing in building the future of commerce,” Zuckerberg said. “We have a long way to go to build out a full-featured commerce platform across our services. This modern commerce system is going to bring together a number of areas where we either already have strong offerings like in ads, community tools and messaging with areas like shops and business messaging and payments.”
Facebook warned last quarter that 2021 would bring “uncertainty” as the company navigates the effects of Apple’s iOS 14.5 update, which requires users to agree to ad-tracking. CFO Dave Whener said the company now expects the update to “begin having an impact” next quarter.
So far, though, the company is doing just fine. It reported just over $26 billion in revenue, an increase of 48 percent from last year. It also grew its user base to 1.88 billion daily active users, though growth in the U.S — its most lucrative ad market — remained flat. Of note, Facebook’s “other” revenue grew 146 percent. The category accounts for Facebook’s hardware sales, including its Oculus and Portal devices. “Quest 2 is doing better than expected, even after the holiday season,” Zuckerberg said.