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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Facebook's earnings call Wednesday was a huge departure from its pitch to investors over the past year. Instead of reiterating its progress in trust and safety, the tech giant touted investments in innovation and new technology.

Why it matters: A slew of public relations crises over the past year had clouded Facebook's ability to position itself to stakeholders as a tech innovator.

Details: Speaking to Wall Street analysts, CEO Mark Zuckerberg briefly addressed the ongoing COVID crisis in India and Brazil before quickly pivoting the three main focus areas: Immersive technologies (AR/VR), commerce and creators.

  • Immersive technologies (AR/VR): Zuckerberg said its Oculus Quest 2 headset "is doing better than we expected." CFO Dave Wehner said Facebook Reality Labs has been one of the company's biggest investments.
  • Commerce: Zuckerberg unveiled new numbers for the company's efforts in commerce. More than 1 billion people visit Facebook's Marketplace tab each month. There are more than 1 million monthly active shops on the platform and over 250 million monthly active visitors to shops.
  • Creators: A new focus on helping creators make money will help the company drive engagement, and thus ad revenue, Zuckerberg said. Earlier this week, Facebook unveiled new monetization tools for creators to make money off of e-commerce.

The big picture: Facebook's business continues to boom. The company's stock spiked more than 6% in after-hours trading Wednesday after it reported strong Q1 revenue results.

  • The company attributed its success to growth in its advertising business. Facebook said it saw a 30% year-over-year increase in the average price per ad last quarter, as well as a 12% increase in the number of ads delivered.

The bottom line: Issues like COVID and election misinformation, hate speech boycotts, the permanent suspension of Donald Trump, and anti-trust, have been major distractions for the company over the past year.

  • Now that the election is over and the worst of COVID has passed in the U.S., the company can focus on addressing innovation over regulation.

Go deeper

Apr 27, 2021 - Economy & Business

Zuckerberg teases new tools for creators to make money on commerce

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in an Instagram Live chat with Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri on Tuesday that the company is building new tools to help creators make money off of commerce.

Why it matters: Facebook is just starting to venture into the creator economy. In order to continue to attract creators, it needs to help ensure there are better ways for creators to get paid.

Apr 28, 2021 - Economy & Business

Facebook stock spikes on strong Q1 revenue growth

(Photo Illustration by Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Facebook's stock was up more than 6% in after-hours trading Wednesday, after it reported strong Q1 revenue results, which it attributed to growth in its advertising business. It also exceeded Wall Street expectations on earnings per share.

Yes, but: The tech giant missed Wall Street expectations slightly on user growth, suggesting its consistent user growth throughout the pandemic has begun to slow slightly.

Apr 28, 2021 - Technology

Spotify reports strong Q1 revenue growth

Photo Illustration by Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Spotify on Wednesday reported strong Q1 revenue growth, fueled by positive subscriber additions and strong ad sales, as well as lowered headwinds from foreign exchange rates.

The big picture: The Swedish tech giant noted that increased subscriber growth and user engagement can be attributed in part to the better-than-expected performance of "The Joe Rogan Experience," a podcast it acquired exclusively for over $100 million.

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