Saturday, August 6, 2016

FACEBOOK Drone Flight Symbolic of Company Success

The Social Network is just so totally killing it right now. Be it in the growing number of users, or its blockbuster second quarter performance that has left Wall Street in open-mouthed wonder, or the promising test flight of its intrepid communications drone that could soon leave the human race no choice but to get an FB account, it’s pretty much plain to see that Mark Zuckerberg’s company is virtually bulletproof.

Wednesday’s quarterly report according to CNN left no doubt that Facebook has earned, and earned big. The news has been so good at the latest that their stock got an over 5% after-hours rise over it. This is all thanks to the social media pillar’s non-stop expanding user base: 1.71 billion active users a month, having grown 15% from the same quarter back in 2015.

Figures are looking up in the mobile sector as well, something FB has had major troubles in before. It’s now up to matching console computer users at 1.57 billion monthly active FB-ers. On average, the Social Network can count on an average of 1.13 billion souls logging on and busying themselves with their FB accounts every, single, day.

More users mean more people to advertise to, and companies have taken notice in the over a decade FB has been in business. The company is currently making $6.4 billion in sales out of it. Just as impressive to know is that this came about not just because of more users, but because users are now spending more in Facebook. The average worldwide spending while on FB is a remarkable $3.82 per user, up from last year’s $2.76.

This reality came as a warning sign to Twitter, which originally got its user base by priding itself on the nature of its brevity in social media, but now has stalled at 300 million still-active Tweeters. Apparently, social networkers are back in the mindset that bigger – Facebook bigger – is better.

All these achievements can thus be encapsulated in an earlier triumph by FB this month. BBC reports that a British-made carbon fiber internet broadcasting drone called Aquila has been commissioned by the Social Network for its most ambitious plot of “world domination” yet. Test pilots took Aquila for a trial flight over Yuma in Arizona that lasted some 96 minutes, proving its concept sound for what FB has in mind.

The master plan is for Facebook to deploy swarms of the 140-foot wingspan Aquilas to fly all over the world, especially over areas with little to no internet access. The drones will broadcast connectivity to these places in a bid to bring the whole world online. And thanks to its solar-powered batteries, an Aquila could theoretically be on the job for three months at a time before needing maintenance.

Pretty soon, everybody really will be on Facebook. It’s both an awesome and scary thought.

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