Expect cost of placing Facebook's ads to get more expensive consistently
Facebook is about to hit middle age. Middle age for Social Media companies means your mature market Daily Active User is plateauing or slightly dropping. In frontier and emerging markets still going through broadband penetration wars with service providers and with runway for teledensity penetration, you may still be gaining viewers but they will follow the same cycle as mature markets eventually.
But the thing is if you look at Facebook revenue numbers they are blowing past their previous results. They are not putting more ads per screen on. They have maximized ad load and new avenues like Instant Articles are a failure (The sheer folly of allowing that to happen is another blog post). They are not gaining viewers in markets that monetize well. In fact after recent changes to news feed they should see a drop in both active users and time spent on platform. So how are they getting the revenue numbers? It is simple. They are charging more for reach in their ads. That shows serious holding power. As someone who uses the platform for advertising daily I can tell you for demographics based reach it is still vastly monetizable. In many cases I could give ten times the price I am already giving.
Facebook is only a growth story in optics. From a monetization point of view it will need to rely more and more on raising ad prices to meet its numbers.... And it will do exactly that.