Facebook Beats Earnings Expectations to End 2015
Wednesday, January 27, 2016
Facebook announced earnings for Q4 2015 Wednesday after market close. Both EPS of $0.79 per share and revenue of $5.8 billion came in above expectations, while net income doubled to $1.56 billion. Monthly active users increased 14% year-over-year to a total of 1.59 billion, which exceeded expectations of 1.58 billion.
GoLocal teamed up with Graphiq to take a closer look at Facebook's earnings announcement:
Related Slideshow: Top Oregon Research Firms Say Social Media “As Valuable as Voting or Volunteering”
Not A Young Man's Game
While social media is generally thought of as a trend among millennials and other young people, people of all ages are using platforms like Facebook and Twitter.
Not a News Source
Despite rapid growth in usage among almost all demographic groups, most social media users in this region do not view social media as a primary news source or as a go-to platform for political and civic engagement.
According to the study, 72 percent of respondents use social media primarily as a social resource, rather than a news source. 56 percent said that social media was not their primary source for local news, and only eight percent said they primarily use social media to get news or engage with their network on current afairs.
Facebook is King
According to the study, Facebook continues to be the dominant social media platform. 90 percent of social media users say they use Facebook, the highest percentage of any platform.
Hyder told GoLocal that Facebook was integral to communicating in the modern age. "Facebook has become the backbone of a lot of communication and a lot of social media use."
According to the study, most Oregonians spend less than an hour a day on social media and make several posts per week.
Unsurprisingly, Oregonians reported that they spend less time on social than consuming other news sources. 53 percent said they less time using social media compared to other information sources.
According to the study, "a person’s race is a major determinant in why they use social media – and both the content they share and what information they consume on these platforms."
52 percent of non-white social media users said that platforms such as Facebook and Twitter are how they get most news about what is happening in their communities – compared to 41% of white users.
Better than Voting?
According to the report, a majority of social media users believe that real change can be forged using social media. More 50 percent of social media users believe that social media was as or more valuable to enacting change as voting, traditional journalism or donating to a non-profit.
"An outsized majority told us it was having an impact," Hyder said. "More than 50 percent told us that social media does more to affect change than traditional avenues, things like voting, getting involved with political campaigns or volunteering or working with non-profits."
Hyder said that their research found that social media does affect change, and in an interesting way.
“What happens, though, is people’s worldviews are widened because they interact with so many friends or family who may not have the same views. That puts a more human component into what can be an abstract issue," Hyder said.
To illustrate the kind of changes social media can cause, Hyder told the story of a staunch conservative who had been against gay marriage for a number of years.
“She said that as she saw friends and family post about the issue, including some who were gay or lesbian themselves, her position began to change,” Hyder said. “If you took a poll, I would have said I was against gay marriage, but if you ask me if my friends and family should be happy and be able to marry the person they love, I’d have a much different answer. It took years for that change to occur, but it happened because of Facebook.”
Difficult to Change Minds
While respondents said they believed change could be affected via Facebook, Twitter or other social media platforms, they also said they often see social media more as an echo chamber than a debate hall.
According to the survey, 51 percent said social media only validates people’s existing views on important issues, and 62 said that social activity on a news story or political debate has never changed their opinion.
Democrats Are More Active
According to DHM and Quinn Thomas, 40 percent of Democrats said they posted their views on social media. Meanwhile, only 31 percent of Independents and 27 percent of Republicans said they broadcast their views using social media.
"Democrats post more political content," Hyder said. "They also feel, more so than other parties, that social media can affect change. They also are most likely to come forward and say that their positions were changed based on information they learned on social media."
More to Learn
Quinn Thomas and DHM's report said that the study also revealed there is still a lot that behavioral science has not explored when it comes to the influence and effectiveness of social media.
"In truth, while we see evidence of growth in social media adoption in the Pacific Northwest, there is a lot we do not yet understand about what impact use has on public perception of complex issues," the report reads. "This is in part because researchers and behavioral scientists are still limited by our reliance on old definitions of what constituents “news” – and the public’s rapidly shifting perceptions about authenticity, information, and the value of informed public discourse"
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