Facebook Hits 1.86 Billion Monthly Active Users as Earnings Surge

Facebook Hits 1.86 Billion Monthly Active Users as Earnings Surge

Facebook Hits 1.86 Billion Monthly Active Users as Earnings Surge
HIGHLIGHTS
Facebook said it made a net profit of $3.7 billion
Daily active users went up to 1.23 billion
India was a hot market in the fourth quarter
Facebook shares bounced Wednesday with word that profit more than doubled in the final quarter of last year, coming back down after a vow to spend heavily on the future.

In earnings that topped most forecasts, Facebook said it made a net profit of $3.7 billion (roughly Rs. 24,943 crores) on revenue of $8.6 billion (roughly Rs. 57,979 crores) in the fourth quarter, as compared with profit of $1.6 billion on $5.6 billion in revenue in the same period a year earlier.

Meanwhile, the number of people using the leading social network monthly increased 17 percent to 1.86 billion. The ranks of people accessing Facebook from mobile devices each month grew to 1.74 billion, an increase of 21 percent from the same period a year earlier. Daily active users went up to 1.23 billion, up 18 percent year on year, while mobile daily active users went up to 1.149 billion, up 23 percent year on year.

Money taken in from ads on mobile devices accounted for about 84 percent of the social network’s overall advertising revenue in the final quarter of last year.

“We believe concerns over user engagement and other social competitors are likely overblown, as few companies share Facebook’s combination of scale, strong technology orientation, and platform breath/diversity,” Baird research analyst Colin Sebastian said in a note to investors.

Facebook saw strong growth in Asia, with India being a hot market in the quarter. The social network still hopes to get into China, where the service is not allowed.

“Our mission is to connect everyone in the world and it’s hard to do that over the long term if we don’t find a way to serve the more than billion people who live in China,” Zuckerberg said while answering questions from analysts on an earnings call.

“But one of the big things that we need to think about here is of course we’re only going to do this in a he way that we’re comfortable with over the long term.”

Facebook shares jumped more than two percent in after-market trades, returning to 15 cents above the closing price of $133.23 after chief financial officer David Wehner reminded analysts that the social network has essentially run out of spare room for ads and plans to invest “aggressively.”

“Our business did well in 2016, but we have a lot of work ahead to help bring people together,” said Facebook co-founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg.

“Our mission to connect the world is more important now than ever.”

Tackling hoaxes
Under pressure to stymie the spread of fake news, Facebook last month modified its system for showing trending topics.

The change was intended to surface topics more quickly, capture a broader range of news, and help ensure that trends reflect real world events being covered by multiple news outlets.

Zuckerberg has sought to deflect criticism that the social network may have been used to fuel the spread of misinformation that influence the outcome of the 2016 US presidential race.
“We don’t write the news that you read but we want to be a place where people can access information and have meaningful conversations,” Zuckerberg said.

“In the past, we’ve taken steps to reduce spam and click-bait and now we’re you approaching misinformation and hoaxes the same way.”

Facebook executives expected spending on investment and hiring by the California-based company to leap 50 percent or so from last year.

Company priorities include data centers, virtual reality, search and artificial intelligence.

AI has the potential to help figure out and find videos or other content people might like at Facebook, and to quickly recognize and remove posts that violate community standards, according to Zuckerberg.

“There’s an increasing focus on objectionable content and a lot of unfortunate things that people share on Facebook,” Zuckerberg said, stressing that it was a small piece of what was is shared at the social network.

“AI is both going to be great for showing people content that’s really good and helping us enforce the community standards that we have to make sure that everyone has a good and fair experience.”

ALSO SEEFacebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg Posts Video of Jarvis Robot Assistant at Work

Stolen tech suit
Zuckerberg described virtual reality as a long-range investment and asked investors to be patient.

“We are going to keep making big investments in VR content and I’m excited about what’s coming they 2017, from new games to more immersive educational experiences,” Zuckerberg said.

A Texas jury Wednesday ordered Facebook and creators of its Oculus Rift to pay $500 million to gaming software firm ZeniMax in a lawsuit that claimed the virtual reality technology was stolen.

The lawsuit claimed Oculus founder Palmer Luckey and his colleagues developed the virtual reality gear using source code illegally obtained from the gaming firm.

ZeniMax had sought $4 billion in damages in the case, in which Zuckerberg testified to defend his company.

Facebook acquired Oculus in 2014 for more than $2 billion and last year began selling the Rift headsets as part of the social network’s push into virtual reality.

Tags: Facebook, Facebook Earnings, Facebook Users, Social, Apps, Oculus ZeniMax Trial

[“Source-Gadgets”]

Ola’s New Notification Features to Keep Users Informed About Availability, Surge Pricing

Ola's New Notification Features to Keep Users Informed About Availability, Surge Pricing

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Users will be informed about peak price drops in real-time
  • Users to be informed about car availability even when away from app
  • Rich Notifications feature to include Emergency SOS button

If peak pricing in cab-aggregating apps has annoyed you in past, forced you to take a different travel option, or burnt a deep hole in your pocket, Ola’s new features might peak your interest. The cab-aggregating app has introduced new notifications in order to help users book their rides with ease.

With its update, Ola has introduced features named ‘Just in Time’ and ‘Rich Notifications’ to the app. ‘Just In Time’ feature provides users with real-time notifications to the users “at the instant when a cab becomes available or when peak pricing for user’s desired cab category ends,” the company said in its press release.

The notifications will be sent to the users as soon as a cab of preference is available, even when they move away from the app. However, notifications will only be sent till up to 15 minutes of the user moving away from the app.

The ‘Rich Notifications’ feature provides users with real-time push notifications to help them track the rides that they booked. With this feature, the users will be provided with the driver’s photo, contact details along with car model and number through a push notification.

“The notification window will be constantly updated with driver’s ETA and customer’s boarding status, without having to open the app repeatedly,” Ola said.Once the user boards the cab, the notification will include an ‘Emergency SOS button’ that sends an alert to the verified emergency contact with the customer’s CRN, user details, location where the alert was raised, and details of cab and driver.

“Ola has always focused on ensuring adequate supply to match growing demand, but there are occasions when demand completely outstrips supply. To enable customers to do more while they wait to book or board a cab, Ola has developed ‘Just in Time’ and ‘Rich Notifications’, to provide real time cab updates. These features work on predictive analysis of data to provide smart real-time push notifications to its customers,” company’s co-founder and CTO was quoted as saying in the release.

Tags: Ola app, Ola Just in Time, Ola Rich Notifications, Apps, India
[“Source-Gadgets”]

How to Check Surge Pricing Level on Uber

How to Check Surge Pricing Level on Uber

HIGHLIGHTS
Uber stopped showing surge in favour of an “upfront” fare
Prices are still affected by demand but it’s not made clear
With Google Maps you can quickly check the surge multiplier
Not too long ago, Uber used to show the rate and the “surgeā€ multiplier before you started a trip. This became a pain point for people using the app – most passengers hate surge pricing and plenty of people would avoid using the app if they saw the surge sign. Plenty of politicians have spoken out against it too.

But then, the company suspended surge pricing, and then later introduced ‘Upfront Fares’, in order to “make it easier” for customers to know how much they’re going to pay. The fare still goes up when there’s high demand, but thanks to the new format, the amount that this changes – the surge multiplier – is not made clear to the customer.

This doesn’t matter on your regular commute – if you normally pay Rs. 100 and see a fare of Rs. 300, you’re probably not going to take that cab. But what about when you’re traveling in an unfamiliar location or city? If you see a fare, is that reasonable or the result of some crazy surge? How are you supposed to know? It turns out that there is a pretty simple way by which you can find out. This is what you need to do:

Open Google maps and enter your destination.
Tap on the right-most option, for hailing a taxi.
Depending up on the country you are in, you’ll see a list of taxi options – Uber and Ola if you are in India, for example – along with the surge factor displayed. We tested this recently and found that it works. As you can see in the screenshot below, Uber showed a ride estimate of Rs. 192. Google Maps (above) showed a surge of 1.5x, with a fare estimate between Rs. 200-Rs. 240. Upon reaching the destination, the receipt from Uber (bottom) showed a surge of 1.4x – pretty close to Google’s estimate.
It’s not foolproof certainly, but if you’re trying to see whether the fare is reasonable or not, this tip can really help. Showing the surge upfront may have been unpopular, but hiding it this way is actually anti-consumer, and hopefully, Uber will be more transparent about its pricing in the future.

Tags: Uber, Surge Pricing, Google Maps, Uber tricks

[“Source-Gadgets”]

ordinary-Even Rule: Uber briefly Suspends Surge Pricing In Delhi

Odd-Even Rule: Uber Temporarily Suspends Surge Pricing In Delhi

Taxi aggregator Uber has put a transient suspension on its arguable surge pricing at the ‘first operatingday’ of the second implementation of the odd-even rule for vehicles in Delhi.

chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday had warned taxis in opposition to surge pricing – thru which taxi aggregators like Uber and Ola raise fees to cater to better demand.

“Given the chance of the Delhi authorities to cancel lets in and impound vehicles of our driving forcecompanions, we’re temporarily postponing surge in Delhi with instantaneous impact,” said Gagan Bhatia, popular manager, Uber North, in an emailed declaration. “we are hoping to work with theauthorities to hold Delhi transferring particularly in the course of this time when the citizens need us themost,” he delivered.

Uber argued that surge pricing is required all through periods of excessive demand in an effort to getvehicles on the street and hold them on the street even during such busy times. The organisationclaimed that substantial majority of the fare is going to the motive force partner, and that 92 percent of the trips in Delhi came about on ordinary fares, even at some stage in the first phase of unusual-even scheme.

not surging is announcing we ought to be just like a taxi and be unreliable when people want us most,” Bhatia stated.

in advance this month, Karnataka had banned surge pricing by means of Uber and Ola, and had reportedly seized extra than 30 motors for overcharging customers. Uber in turn had despatched personalizedemails to its rider base in Bengaluru explaining why surge pricing is critical for its enterprise model.

“Our goal at Uber is to make certain you could push a button and get a trip within minutes — even on thebusiest nights of the 12 months. And due to surge pricing, that is almost always feasible,” Uber had said.

we’ve submitted our objections to the transport department in connection with the notified guidelines and are engaged with the government,” stated Bhavik Rathod, GM South, Uber India, on the Karnatakagovernment policies capping costs for cab aggregators.

It appears the business enterprise has now not bowed to the pressure laid on it through the Karnatakagovernment but, with surge pricing still energetic on the Uber app in Bengaluru.

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Tags: Apps, Bengaluru, Delhi, India, net, atypical Even, Surge Pricing, Uber, Uber India