October 31, 2018


The Numbers:

Earnings per share: $1.76
Revenue: $13.73 billion
Net income: $5.137 billion
Mobile advertising revenue share: 92% of all ad revenue.
Daily active users: 1.49 billion

Nothing too surprising for Facebook, most results were in line with expectations. The stock was also up about 3% in after-hours trading.

The Crew’s take on it:

After a very rocky Q2 earnings call, expectations have changed a bit with Facebook.

This is another quarter with Facebook losing European users, down to 375 million monthly-active from 376 mil.

The news feed is also quite saturated with ads, so there’s not much room for growth there.

So NA+EU kind of reached its peak in terms of growth and Facebook ran out of ad space on the news feed. What is Mark going to do next? Or is Facebook done growing?

Well, thanks to Depesh Mandalia, we have a relevant summary of Facebook’s plans.

1. Monetising video better – CPMs are lower for ads in videos than in the news feed although advertisers can get very good returns. We are talking ad placement here, not ad type!

2. Monetizing FB Watch and IGTV better, pushing the video experience in those sections

3. Messaging and stories are growing – and they will get more and more ads. With hopefully better results.

4. WhatsApp ads. This is a tough one… WhatsApp is great, that’s why it has so many users. Bringing ads to it in the wrong way could hurt a lot.

So, overall, Mark and the FB team are doing a good job at presenting the bright side of things. And we still think Facebook has not reached its peak yet but between the privacy scandals and market saturation, they certainly have their work cut out.

If anyone has proven to be able to do it, it’s Facebook though.

If only they’d step up their game with advertiser support and less buggy tools.

Conclusion: Keep running FB Ads but don’t expect to get less of a headache than before.

Speaking of headaches from Facebook…

Facebookeddon – Part 2?

Two months ago we’ve had a big wave of advertisers reporting complete destruction of their ad accounts and Business Managers.

Well, the past few days have seen the same significant increase.

Both Peter Kell and Mahfuz Rahman reported in the Facebook Ad Buyers group that their ad accounts went bye-bye in the past 24 hours.

Not too strange to have 2 people report that but then the comments brought up more and more strange cases.

People are trying to point to just one reason why this is happening but it’s almost never just one. Let us explain.

There are mid-term elections in the US so Facebook is stricter with anything that could be political, thus more likely to get ad accounts suspended.

Facebook has hired many new moderators, which means many interpret Facebook’s ad policies differently, and sometimes just make mistakes.

Oh, and Facebook’s policies or their interpretation change, which means what worked 6 months ago could be a no-no today.

Last and most certainly not least, when 2-3 bring up issues publicly, others that also have the issue are much more likely to join in. Basically, even though it might not be happening much more often, people are reporting it more in groups.

That’s our take on what is happening… And the main conclusion is that neither us nor the average advertiser can do anything to change it.

Unpredictability is and probably always will be part of running Facebook Ads.

VICE News games the “Paid for by” transparency tool

Eh, this is an interesting one. The team at VICE applied to run political ads on behalf of all 100 US senators.

And they got approved.

What this means is their pages, which were not exactly believable, could run ads “Paid for by” real senators without them actually paying for it.

Imagine ads from “Cookies for Political Transparency” and “Ninja Turtles PAC” featuring Bernie Sanders…

So, if there was ever a time to keep your word and actually verify who pays for the ads it’s now. When the press is hitting you, and your growth is slowed down, you better keep your promises to legislators.

One thing we’re not clear on is whether or not Facebook has extra checks once people try to run ads.

VICE only got approval to use certain “Paid for by” names. They never actually put ads live.

Check out the whole story on VICE to see how they did it. Spoiler: it’s not that complicated.

The WTAFF Crew got a sneak picture of Mark’s reaction when the news broke out.


AdSense only with verification from now on

Google is updating the process of monetizing new sites under existing AdSense accounts this week.

So far you could just add your existing AdSense code to a new site if you wanted to this new site to your AdSense account.

From now on every new site needs to go through a verification process and if the site gets approved you can start displaying AdSense ads.
Since Google is a member of the Coalition for Better Ads since its foundation in 2016, it’s surprising that publishers didn’t already have to go through a verification and review process when adding code to new sites.

Quora now has CPM bidding

For some of the newer readers who are wondering why are we talking about Quora – they monetize through native ads.

And they are no small player. Sure, they are not the size of Facebook and Google but they have over 300 million unique visitors monthly.

Starting yesterday, Quora has added CPM bidding for their ads.

They also have CPC bidding which is bid per click, charge per click, and target CPA bid which is bid per conversion, charge per impression.

Like we said before, definitely worth keeping an eye on and even testing for some products. There’s some decent reach and likely much less competition than on FB and Google.

Targeting is not bad either. You can target by topic, interest, platform or location. Plus, they also have their own algorithm, Facebook-style, that will show your ads to what their tool thinks would be the most relevant audience. They just call this broad targeting.

Have you already tried Quora? What were your results? If you have experience with Quora Ads, we can feature your case study in one of our upcoming newsletters!

AI-generated logos? Maybe!

If you’ve been reading our newsletter diligently, you’re aware of several AI usages in marketing already. People at Netherlands’ Maastricht University have now combined business with art and developed an AI system that can generate logos for your company or products.

It’s called LoGAN, and can create logos using 12 colours. You give it colour keywords, and it comes up with different shapes and combinations. So far, you can only control the colours, but the team is aiming to add more descriptive labels like shape and focus.

Of course, this program couldn’t replace a designer’s work, since its result is very low resolution and not always aesthetically pleasing. However, it can make the progress of designing a logo a bit easier by giving ideas.

If you want to know more about how LoGAN works, this article illustrates it well

Because Apple is relevant for everyone, right?

Online marketers use many Apple products, no secret there, right? So we definitely had to check what Apple was up to yesterday.

At their second hardware event of the year, Apple presented new versions of the MacBook Air, the Mac Mini and the iPad Pro.

While the new MacBook Air and the new Mac Mini are essentially just better versions of the previous model we’ve seen bigger changes for the iPad Pro.

It comes with magnets that allow users to attach their Apple Pencil and the new folio keyboard, which can also be charged wirelessly when attached.

Apple also got rid of the home button, replacing it by the Face ID feature. The new iPad Pro is the first Apple device using USB-C, which means it even can be used as a charge port for a phone.

It is available as an 11-inch model starting at $799 and as a 12.9-inch model starting at $999. For some frequent travellers, this might become a better alternative to laptops.

Are you giving Apple some of your money for any of these devices?


Cool tech, (funny) business, lifestyle and all the other things affiliates like to chat about while sipping cocktails by the pool.

Book your trip to space with Shuttle

A 24-year-old Stanford graduate with a love for space has put it into his head to make a booking agent for spaceflight. Yep, it’s exactly how it sounds.

You will be able to purchase a trip into space for $250,000 and upwards, or a zero-gravity flight on an altered Boeing 747 plane for just $5,000.

You can actually try and get tickets for the first zero-gravity flight already, which is expected to launch from San Francisco in March next year. Your 5k bucks will grant you about 8 minutes of weightlessness.

But that’s not all. Apparently, they’re building a space hotel. An actual hotel in space. Your stay will have to be 12 nights minimum, at the bargain price of a million dollars per night.

You get sunsets and sunrises every 90 minutes, and even moon and spacewalks. Now you can actually take crypto to the moon… or have crypto take you there! <3

The company already has over $1 million in space flight bookings (that’s 8 customers), and wants to build a base on the moon. If they continue like this, maybe one day even the less privileged of us will be able to become vacation astronauts.

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