Facebook users are spending a lot more time watching video, and short-form video like Instagram Reels is growing fast. Speaking during the company’s second-quarter earnings call, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that “video now accounts for almost half of all time spent on Facebook.” And on Instagram, TikTok competitor Reels is the “largest contributor to engagement growth.”
Though he stopped short of sharing more specific stats, the new details suggest Instagram’s Reels may be gaining more traction as the company vies for creator talent. Zuckerberg also noted that the company’s focus on creators and shopping would also help it reach its longer term goal of becoming a “metaverse company.”
Facebook revealed earlier this week that it was tapping an Instagram exec to start a new team focused on creating a metaverse. “You can kind of think about this as an embodied internet that you're inside of rather than just looking at,” Zuckerberg said. “You're basically gonna be able to do everything that you can on the internet today, as well as some things that don't make sense on the internet today like dancing.”
Zuckerberg’s comments come as the company reported some of its strongest growth in years, with revenue of more than $29 billion, an increase of 56 percent from last year. The company also reported more than 3.5 billion “monthly active people,” though user growth in the US once again remained flat.
Despite the strong numbers this quarter, the company warned that the rest of 2021 could look very different. Facebook expects revenue and growth to “decelerate significantly” in the second half of the year, said CFO Dave Wehner. He also noted that Apple’s iOS 14.5 update, which allows users to opt out of the social network’s ad tracking, would have a “greater impact” next quarter.