Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) once again delivered knockout metrics in its December quarter earnings report, but what caught the team Tematica eye was how the social media giant is leveraging the rising middle class that is a part of our Rise and Fall of the Middle Class investing theme. Several years ago Facebook launched a lite version of its app that allowed users in lower-bandwidth countries (those either lack 4G/LTE coverage entirely or have spotty at best coverage) to utilize the social media platform and it has paid off in spades. In less than two years, Facebook Lite has more than 200 million users - that's nearly two-thirds of the entire US population. Now to watch Facebook monetize those users to drive its average revenue per user (ARPU) even higher.
Facebook's stripped-down but speedy Lite app is growing fast and adding countries so it can keep connecting people and building the company's business in the low-bandwidth world where revenue increased 52% this year.
Facebook Lite launched in June 2015, it rocketed to 100 million monthly users by March 2016, and now it's doubled in size to 200 million users, Mark Zuckerberg says.
Average revenue per user is up 28% this year from $1.10 to $1.41. And that pushed its Rest Of World revenue up 52% this year to $839 million per quarter.
By making it enjoyable for users to sign up and spend more time on Facebook even with a weak network connection, Facebook is starting to make money in places other apps don't.