Facebook's second-quarter earnings beat expectations across the board, accelerating growth of its daily active users, and making far more money than expected from each of them. There are plenty of factors driving Facebook's growth, including the explosion of video and advertisers' shift to mobile ads.
But this quarter showed, more than ever, how small businesses are a huge piece of Facebook's future.
There are now 60 million businesses using Facebook Pages each month, the company said. What's most striking is 10 million of them joined in just the last quarter. Most promising for Facebook's bottom line: Only 3 million of that 60 million are advertisers, which means a huge opportunity to convert the remaining 57 million with a number of easy ways to turn free posts into paid ads.
"Business owners start with the organic products, and then they move, when they see value, to invest in the paid products," said Dan Levy, Facebook's vice president of small business. "One of the things that's interesting is more than 80 percent of our new advertisers start off with just simple page posts that they end up boosting with a little bit of money. They learn how to do it in the same way they would create content as a user. They see value and then they're willing to invest the money from there."