Facebook (FB) will now track shopping-related activities of its users in order to provide more relevant information to advertisers.
With the introduction of the cross-device tracking system on Facebook, advertisers will now get to know minute details such as when an ad for a particular product was first viewed by the user and whether it was finally purchased. Moreover, it will also enable advertisers to know about the devices from which the respective purchases were made.
However, this tracking will be enabled only on those devices that are logged on to Facebook. We believe that this initiative will beef up its ad revenues in the near future. Ad revenues contributed about 92.1% of total revenue in the just concluded second quarter of fiscal 2014.
However, this, in turn, has raised privacy concerns worldwide. This is not the first time though that the social media giant has been accused of breaching privacy. Recently, Facebook drew a lot of criticism when the results of an experiment conducted by it in 2012, to influence the moods of its users, were revealed in public.
It is also acquiring startups to target ads that will beef up ad revenues going forward. Recently, it acquired LiveRail, a startup that specializes in the delivery of online video ads to desired demographics.
Per EMarketer, the U.S. market for digital-advertising is set to grow 42% in 2014 to $5.96 billion. According to Gartner, ad market spending is expected to hit $42.0 billion in 2017.
As Facebook’s ad business matures, top-line growth is expected to suffer. Facebook’s rapid pace of acquisitions is also expected to weigh down on profitability and cash balance in the near term. Intensifying competition from the likes of Google (GOOGL), Yahoo (YHOO) and Twitter (TWTR) remains a major concern.
Nevertheless, we believe that Facebook’s growing mobile user base, Instagram’s increasing popularity, frequent launch of new products and international expansions will boost the company’s top line and profitability going forward.
Currently, Facebook has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
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