Facebook shattered all expectations with its strongest-ever first quarter earnings this evening.
All expectations except one, that is.
The much-anticipated ‘big reveal’ of Facebook’s Bitcoin (BTC) holdings simply didn’t materialise.
Rumours had been rife for days that CEO Mark Zuckerberg would announce the world’s biggest social media company had been investing heavily into the world’s biggest cryptocurrency.
So strong were the tip-offs that Bitcoin threw up a wick to $56,490 as the announcement began before flopping to $54,300 as it became painfully apparent that the tantalising thought of Facebook ploughing vast sums of US dollars into crypto was actually a damp squib.
It was being touted as a potential watershed moment for Bitcoin – endorsement of the flagship currency from Mark Zuckerberg himself.
Interestingly, though, there was no discussion of Facebook’s drawn-out and clumsy attempts to create its own cryptocurrency.
First mooted as Libra in 2019 before being abandoned by big name partners, it was scaled back and reincarnated as Diem which, if further rumours are to be believed, will be piloted on a small scale later this year.
Instead, the focus of the evening call was entirely upon the jaw-dropping numbers being delivered by rampaging advertising revenues.
In Q1 2020, the California-based outfit posted $17.7 billion in revenues – a figure that was eclipsed by today’s astonishing $26.1 billion.
At 48 per cent more year-on-year, it also outshone even the most optimistic analysts’ expectations by more than $3 billion.
As Facebook’s active monthly users shot up by 50 million, net income came in at an impressive $9.5 billion, which now represents around $3.30 per share, and roughly doubles the income of last April’s $4.9 billion.
While the price of Bitcoin may have briefly wavered amid the anticipation then disappointment of not seeing Bitcoin in the figures, Facebook’s value only had one direction to go.
Stock futures in Zuckerberg’s 17-year-old empire leapt seven per cent on the announcement, and shares closed 1.2 per cent up.
For anyone expecting Facebook to turn towards Bitcoin in the future, it would seem that road also only leads to disenchantment as the CEO outlined new horizons for Facebook to look towards.
“We had a strong quarter as we helped people stay connected and businesses grow,” he declared.
“We will continue to invest aggressively to deliver new and meaningful experiences for years to come, including in newer areas like augmented and virtual reality, commerce, and the creator economy.”
His remarks will no doubt be a disappointment to Bitcoin enthusiasts – particularly as cryptocurrency has a history and pedigree of overlaps with the “newer areas” listed by Zuckerberg.