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Pinterest Adds 2 Million Users in Q1, Flags Ongoing Revenue Impacts



Pinterest Adds 2 Million Users in Q1, Flags Ongoing Revenue Impacts

Some not-so-great numbers in Pinterest’s latest performance update, with revenue increasing year-over-year, but declining quarter-over-quarter, while user growth has returned, though only slightly, with 2 million more monthly actives logging in in Q1.

As you can see in this chart, Pinterest usage has declined significantly from its peaks early on in the pandemic, when it was the big winner of the forced eCommerce push due to lockdowns and other pandemic mitigation measures.

With people stuck at home, they turned to Pinterest to browse and shop, which pushed the app up to 478 million users. It’s been on the decline ever since – though it may now be stabilizing at 433m.

As explained by Pinterest:

In Q1 2022, we continued to experience year-over-year engagement declines primarily due to pandemic-influenced growth in the year-ago quarter as well as lower search traffic (largely driven by Google’s algorithm change in November 2021). Time spent on competitive video-centric consumer platforms remains a headwind, particularly in our more mature markets. These declines were most pronounced for our desktop web and mobile web users, with mobile app users showing more resilience. The decline in global MAUs from February 1 to March 31 was primarily due to Russia’s recent invasion of Ukraine, and was particularly pronounced in Europe.”

So the war in Ukraine is a factor here, as it will be for almost all social apps.

On balance, that could suggest that Pinterest is actually stabilizing pretty well, with a solid user base that it can then pitch ads to, while also increasing its appeal to brand partners. Pinterest’s focus is on becoming a key hub for shopping, and it may well be able to fulfill that niche – though I do think the mention of the impact of a Google change is an ongoing concern.

Google is essentially looking to build in the same areas, with increased emphasis on product discovery and shopping. And if Google has the power to hurt Pinterest’s results so significantly, what’s to stop them doing so again, if it feels that Pinterest is intruding on its turf? At some stage, there would be a question about anti-competitive behavior, but I’m not sure that Pinterest has adequately detailed how it plans to mitigate this impact moving forward.

In terms of revenue, as noted, Pinterest posted a better YoY result, though it’s actually declined on a quarterly basis.

Pinterest q1 2022

It’s hard to take anything definitive from that, though Pinterest points to the decline in active users as being a key cause, with its processes actually working well to better monetize the audience that it does have in the app.

Pinterest Q1 2022

As you can see in these charts, Pinterest is also highly reliant on the North American market for its revenue intake, which points to more opportunities as it branches out into new areas, while Pinterest also notes that the number of Pinners engaging with shopping surfaces has continued to grow year over year.

So there is significant potential there, if you dig a little deeper. How much you want to bank on Pinterest being able to capitalize on such comes down to your perspective, and your view of the latest usage trends in the app.

But there’s clearly still opportunity on Pins, even if it’s not hitting the highs it was early in the pandemic, and there is still opportunity for Pinterest to carve a niche within the eCommerce sphere, becoming a virtual shopping mall for a wide range of artisan goods.

Pinterest has continued to evolve its discovery tools, and newer elements like Idea Pins are showing promise (Idea Pins grew 17x year over year) – and the fact that 90% of weekly active Pinners use the app to inform their purchase decisions can’t be overlooked.

But just how big can Pinterest actually be?

Slowing growth, even as it expands into new markets, is not a good sign – and you can expect the market to react in kind – while it still remains to be seen what, exactly, is a realistic expectation for the app, in the wake of the pandemic push for online shopping.

Can Pinterest get things back on track, and get back to solid growth, and become a more essential shopping companion for more users, or is that COVID bump now gone and this is what it stabilizes to?

Depending on your target market, the total usage number itself may not matter, and it’s definitely worth familiarizing yourself with Pinterest’s ever-improving analytics tools to get a gauge on the potential for your products.

But right now, it’s also not an essential platform, and the lack of significant growth is not going to spark a bigger rush on Pin ads moving forward.

And again, there is also the question of competition with Google, and how much the search giant will allow Pinterest to grow, and encroach on its own core functionality.

Many questions remain, and while the results here are okay, they don’t provide a heap of answers at this stage.

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Things May Finally Be Looking Up for Meta Stock



Things May Finally Be Looking Up for Meta Stock

Last year was brutal for Meta Platforms (META 3.01%). The Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger parent’s ad revenue suffered as a weak macroeconomic environment and changes to ad tracking and measurement on Apple‘s mobile operating system combined to create a significant headwind.

This headwind wreaked havoc on the stock, with shares of the tech company declining 65% last year. But The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday that there may be some signs of improvement in Meta’s business — something that could prove to be a catalyst for the stock.

Here’s a look at why 2023 could be a decent year for Meta’s business and possibly its stock, too.

Meta’s nightmare 2022

It’s not surprising that Meta’s stock took a beating last year. The bad news started early in 2022, when Meta reported its fourth-quarter 2021 results and said first-quarter revenue growth would slow dramatically due to Apple’s iOS changes, a weak macroeconomic environment, and a shift of user engagement within the company’s apps to its TikTok-like Reels format, which was monetizing at a lower rate than its more mature formats. 

These trends largely persisted throughout 2022, as revenue growth decelerated dramatically in Q1 and turned negative by Q2. Revenue growth continued to decline on a year-over-year basis in Q3, and management said it expected fourth-quarter revenue to decline between 3% and 11% year over year. The midpoint of this range would be worse than the company’s 4% revenue decline in Q3.

A turnaround may be underway

While Meta’s performance was dismal last year, management emphasized on several occasions that it was confident it could turn things around eventually. In particular, the social media company believed it would be able to build out solutions to make its ad tracking and measurement less reliant on Apple’s mobile operating system’s capabilities. Further, Meta said throughout the year that even though its Reels format may be a headwind today, it would become a tailwind as the company improved its monetization.

Based on a report from WSJ on Friday, Meta has been making progress on these fronts. Investment in artificial intelligence tools to improve ad-targeting and forecasting and a shift to ad products that are less reliant on Apple’s mobile operating system are paying off, WSJ reports. “Executives told employees in October that Meta expected to begin rebounding from Apple’s change as soon as that quarter, which ended Dec. 31,” wrote WSJ‘s Jeff Horwitz and Salvador Rodriguez, citing “internal documents” at Meta.

Of course, it’s still impossible to know what Meta’s fourth-quarter results may look like. We’ll find out when the company reports fourth-quarter results on Feb. 1. It’s worth noting that Meta’s third-quarter report was released toward the end of October — the same month WSJ said executives reported these improvements to employees, and almost a month into Q4. Management, therefore, likely attempted to conservatively bake in any improvements it was seeing into its fourth-quarter revenue guidance.

While it’s possible Meta surprises to the upside for its fourth-quarter 2022 results, the internal documents WSJ cites at least provide an encouraging backdrop for a potential turnaround in the company’s top-line trajectory in 2023.

Randi Zuckerberg, a former director of market development and spokeswoman for Facebook and sister to Meta Platforms CEO Mark Zuckerberg, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors. Daniel Sparks has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. His clients may own shares of the companies mentioned. The Motley Fool has positions in and recommends Apple and Meta Platforms. The Motley Fool recommends the following options: long March 2023 $120 calls on Apple and short March 2023 $130 calls on Apple. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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Twitter Publishes 2023 Marketing Calendar to Assist with Campaign Planning



Twitter Publishes 2023 Marketing Calendar to Assist with Campaign Planning

Looking to map out your content calendar for the year ahead?

This will help – Twitter has published its annual events calendar, which highlights all of the key dates and celebrations that you need to keep in mind in your planning.

The interactive calendar provides a solid overview of important dates, which could assist in your strategy. You can also filter the list by region, and by event type.

Twitter marketing calendar 2023

You can also download any specific listing, though the download itself is pretty basic – you don’t get, like, a pretty calendar template that you can stick on your wall or anything.

Twitter marketing calendar 2023

Twitter used to publish downloadable calendars, but switched to an online-only display a couple of years back. Which still includes all the same info, but isn’t as cool looking.

Either way, it may help in your process, as you map out your 2023 approach.

In addition to this, Twitter’s also published an overview of some of the major events that it’ll be looking to highlight in the app throughout the year, along with a pitch to advertisers, amid the more recent chaos at the app.

As per Twitter:

We’re moving more quickly than ever, and we’re still the place people turn to see and talk about what’s happening. A great example is the recent FIFA Men’s World Cup. We saw a whopping 147B impressions of event-related content on the platform, up nearly +30% from 2018. We also generated 7.1B views on World Cup video1, with everything from memes to nail-biter outcomes to history being made.”

There’s also this:

Not only is Twitter alive with content and conversation around big moments, but we are also growing. We saw global mDAU acceleration in Q4 to 253.1M, driven by an average sign-up rate of more than 1 million new daily users across Q42.”

That’s the first official usage stat Twitter has shared since Elon Musk took over at the app, and is a significant jump on the 238 million mDAU that Twitter reported in Q2 last year, its last market update before the sale went through.

It’ll be interesting to see if that usage level holds, as Twitter works through its latest changes and updates.

You can check out Twitter’s 2023 marketing calendar here.

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‘Stop the hate’ online, UN chief pleads on Holocaust Day



A person visits the Holocaust Memorial, in Berlin, Germany on January 27, 2023, on International Holocaust Remembrance Day

A person visits the Holocaust Memorial, in Berlin, Germany on January 27, 2023, on International Holocaust Remembrance Day – Copyright AFP Michal Cizek

The UN secretary-general warned of social media’s role in spreading violent extremism around the globe as he marked Holocaust Remembrance Day on Friday, urging policy makers to help stop online hate.

Antonio Guterres said parts of the internet were turning into “toxic waste dumps for hate and vicious lies” that were driving “extremism from the margins to the mainstream.”

“Today, I am issuing an urgent appeal to everyone with influence across the information ecosystem,” Guterres said at a commemoration ceremony at the United Nations. “Stop the hate. Set up guardrails. And enforce them.”

He accused social media platforms and advertisers of profiting off the spread of hateful content.

“By using algorithms that amplify hate to keep users glued to their screens, social media platforms are complicit,” added Guterres. “And so are the advertisers subsidizing this business model.”

Guterres drew parallels with the rise of Nazism in 1930s Germany, when people didn’t pay attention or protest.

“Today, we can hear echoes of those same siren songs to hate. From an economic crisis that is breeding discontent to populist demagogues using the crisis to seduce voters to runaway misinformation, paranoid conspiracy theories and unchecked hate speech.”

He lamented the rise of anti-Semitism, which he said also reflects a rise of all kinds of hate.

“And what is true for anti-Semitism is true for other forms of hate. Racism. Anti-Muslim bigotry. Xenophobia. Homophobia. Misogyny”

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