- the Starbucks-Facebook drama and
- Obama falling on his own sword
You Can't Always Get What You Want Posted at 8:29 a.m. EDT on Thursday, Oct. 31 Perhaps people are just asking for too much. That concept was pretty stark last night on the two most important conference calls: Starbucks ( SBUX) and Facebook ( FB). Facebook delivered a monster quarter, but it seemed that all anyone could focus on was a comment about how younger teens have decreased usage and how the company does not expect to significantly increase ads as a percentage of news feeds. The result? We got a real dead-horse beating about the peaking of Facebook and, even though ad revenue grew 60% and mobile ads are now 49% of the business and the company generated $1.8 billion in ad sales, you left the call with a sense that Facebook's best times are behind it. Of course that's fatuous logic in that revenues for video and Instagram haven't even hit yet and the company is just scratching the surface of the ad market. Given that digital media now represents a much bigger part of viewing than television, specifically 5.25 hours a day for Internet vs. 4.5 hours for TV and the fact that Facebook has 1 in 8 minutes of that time of desktop and 1 in 5 minutes on mobile, that's a lot of time to monetize. But the analysts saw it differently, contending, at least from the questions, that the company has a self-imposed limit of how much advertising it can offer without spoiling the user experience, with an undertone that younger teenagers must already be turned off by the ads. The Q&A turned the biggest upside surprise of the season into a downer and it shouldn't have been. There's no slowing here that I can find, but I felt very lonely with that viewpoint after listening to the interplay.