Facebook makes mountains of money through advertising — $6.2 billion last quarter alone, to be specific.
But as the company took analyst questions Wednesday in the wake of yet another glowing earnings report, CFO Dave Wehner said something interesting: Facebook’s ad load, or the total number of ads the company can show to each user, will be a relative non-factor for predicting Facebook’s future revenue growth starting this time next year.
Translation: Facebook is about to max out on the number of ads it can show users inside its flagship product, which means it will need to find other ways to grow the company’s ad business moving forward. Simply increasing the number of ads it shows people will not be an option.
“The optimal ad load is really a mix of art and science,” Wehner said. “We also want to be thoughtful about making sure each person’s overall feed experience has the right balance of organic and ad content.”
This was surprising to analysts, as evidenced by the fact that many of them then asked Facebook’s executives to elaborate on what this means.
So what does it mean?