With Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) stock up about 16% in the past three months and 25% in the past 12 months, investors will be watching the company's second-quarter earnings release closely on Wednesday. Even more, beyond looking for the social network to meet or exceed expectations for revenue and EPS, many investors will tune into the company's live earnings call following the release to hear Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's thoughts on some important topics.
Here are some of the key topics to listen for during the call.
When will Facebook reach 2 billion users?
Headed into Facebook's second-quarter financial results, the company's last update on monthly active user count was 1.44 billion, up 12.5% from Facebook's first quarter in 2014. If the company adds as many users sequentially in Q2 as it did in Q1, it will reach an important milestone: 1.5 billion monthly active users.
With user count tracking around this important milestone, it brings up an important question about Facebook's future: How does the company envision the timeline to 2 billion monthly active users? Will it be much slower? Or does the social network have some moves up its sleeve to help bring more of the world onto Facebook?
Reaching 2 billion may be much more difficult than it was for the company to build its user base up to about 1.5 billion. With Facebook banned in China, and considering the fact that two-thirds of the world is not connected to the Internet, the challenges of getting more people on Facebook will likely be significant.
What's the latest on Facebook's "new generation of Internet services?"
During Facebook's first-quarter earnings call, Zuckerberg made an interesting reference to "a new generation of Internet services that are more useful, intuitive, and immersive." These Internet services, Zuckerberg said, are related to the company's efforts in search, artificial intelligence, and its 2014 acquisition of virtual reality company Oculus.
Zuckerberg said Facebook would share more about these new services in the coming months. Could shareholders finally get more details on these long-term initiatives during the Q2 call?
How are Facebook's other platforms doing?
As Facebook's social platforms beyond its core blue Facebook app continue to become more prominent, updates on these products are becoming more relevant than ever in analyzing the future potential for the company.
During Facebook's first-quarter earnings call, Zuckerberg said WhatsApp and Instagram had 800 million and 300 million monthly active users, respectively. Furthermore, Facebook's Groups and Messenger products, which are linked closely to Facebook but are also becoming products in their own right, have reached 700 and 600 million monthly active users, respectively.
While most of these products are still very early in monetization stages, Facebook has been providing more color on the advertising opportunity on Instagram.
"There's more [advertising] inventory that we can open up on Instagram over time because it's so early," Zuckerberg explained during the call, "but we are going to do that once we get to formats that are working well for businesses and that we feel really good about in the consumer experience."
Is Facebook management more confident after Q2 about the monetization opportunity for its non-Facebook social platforms?
Facebook investors can tune into the company's live second-quarter earnings call at 5:00 p.m. EDT on Wednesday.