Digital Down Low: November 4
Facebook’s Mobile Business Is Bigger Than Ever
- According to Mashable, there’s a good reason why Facebook’s mobile business is bigger than ever. The majority of Facebook’s users now access the social network exclusively on a mobile device, Facebook announced as part of its third quarter earnings. Of its 1.79 billion monthly active users, more than 1 billion are so-called “mobile only” users who only use Facebook on mobile devices. And, by all accounts, it looks like that number is only going to get bigger.
- Facebook once again beat expectations and the company shared a number of impressive stats about its still-climbing engagement. The social network reported more than 1.18 billion daily active users (1.09 of which are on mobile) and 1.79 billion monthly active users.
- Still, the mobile-only statistic might be the most significant. It means that the company has succeeded in becoming “mobile first.” What’s more, that strategy has not only brought in huge numbers of new users, it’s making them more money than ever. The vast majority of the company’s ad revenue now comes from mobile ads as well. In other words: Facebook’s bet on mobile has paid off.
Google Home vs Amazon Echo
- According to Marketing Land, Google Home is a powerful new search and discovery device and its appearance is significant because it will help accelerate voice search adoption and virtual assistants. As Google’s emphasis on its Assistant (across devices) has shown, search has become much more ambient, transactional and less about traditional search engine results pages. It’s also about a range of content experiences and capabilities that go well beyond screens. Indeed, the virtual assistant concept transcends search into much broader territory.
- Amazon hasn’t disclosed sales figures but hinted that volumes for Echo and the lower-priced Echo Dot are huge. Third parties have said that Echo devices are outselling Kindles for Amazon. This obviously matters to marketers because of the very different user experience these virtual assistant devices offer, which is mostly screen-free. With both Home and Alexa, there are companion screen experiences but they’re secondary. Optimizing for voice and virtual assistants is about answering user questions and structured markup. It’s also about integrating your transactional capabilities into these platforms — ASAP.
- While the battle of the virtual assistants will continue to heat up, in one sense it doesn’t matter whether you prefer Home or Echo/Alexa. What matters is that you’ll own at least one of them — or a Siri- or Cortana-based voice assistant if they appear. Of course, Google has the advantage of its search index (over Amazon and Apple), and its lock on mobile search usage gives it another network advantage.
Intel’s New Drones
- According to Tech Insider, Intel sees a future where fireworks are replaced by flying drones. The world’s largest chipmaker released a new drone called the Shooting Star, an unmanned aerial vehicle specifically designed for light shows. “With this drone, we will be able to demonstrate that drone light shows can redefine entertainment and create amazing new experiences in the night sky,” Anil Nanduri, Intel’s VP of New Technology Group.
- The Shooting Star is Intel’s first drone created for entertainment light shows. At 280 grams, it’s lighter than a volleyball, and comes with built-in LED lights that can create over 4 billion color combinations, Intel says. Intel has recently acquired drone companies like MAVinci GmbH and Ascending Technologies to beef up its drone expertise.
- This isn’t the first time Intel lobbed the idea of drones replacing fireworks. At this year’s CES,Intel CEO Brian Krzanich shared his vision for this, claiming drones are safer and easier to control than fireworks. “I see a future where fireworks and all of their risks of smoke, dirt are a thing of the past, and they’re replaced by shows that have unlimited creativity and potential — and powered by drones,” Krzanich said. To celebrate the release of Shooting Star, Intel also shared this video that shows 500 drones lighting up the sky.