Updated from 10:55 a.m. to include comments from Jim Cramer in the sixth paragraph.
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- First, there was the profile page and the poke.
Then came the News Feed. Since then, Facebook (FB) - Get Report has been evolving, adding feature after feature to keep its users -- 1.49 billion monthly active users at the end of the second quarter -- entrenched in the service and to keep advertisers happy. That's crucial, since the other option is for Facebook to wind up like MySpace.
But something else has been going on as well as Facebook introduces features such as video, messaging, events, groups and pages -- the great unbundling of the big blue app.
Part of the unbundling has been done to keep certain demographics stuck in the service, even if they don't use the core Facebook. In an October 2013 earnings call, then-Chief Financial Officer David Ebersman (since replaced by Dave Wehner) said Facebook saw "a decrease in daily users, specifically among younger teens." Since then, Facebook has not commented publicly on usage from specific demographics.
On its second-quarter earnings call Wednesday, CEO Mark Zuckerberg constantly talked about the company's next generation of apps and services in an effort for Facebook to become more like a utility rather than a social network.
TheStreet's Jim Cramer noted the time spent on Facebook's apps highlight the importance of Facebook going forward. "The average user spends nearly an hour of his or her daily life immersed in Facebook's product trifecta," Cramer wrote. "In our view, that tidbit of information is profound in every sense of the word."
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Reading between the lines and digging deep suggests that the next product to come from Facebook may be a stand-alone video app, perhaps reminiscent of
Zuckerberg was asked whether a stand-alone video app would be forthcoming, and the normally polished 31-year old CEO stumbled a bit in his response. "Uhhhh, we work on a lot of different things," Zuckerberg said. "I don't think we'd rule out the things that you just mentioned, but we don't have anything specific to talk about today on either of them I think."
Facebook could not be immediately reached for comment for this story.
Facebook is particularly proud of its video efforts, having built a product up from nothing in the past couple of years. Thanks in part to the success and viral nature of last year's ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, Facebook now sees more than 4 billion video views a day.
Many analysts cited video ads as the next big leg up for Facebook revenue. In a research note, Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Youssef Squali cited Facebook's "massive video opportunity" as being one of the reasons for boosting his price target to $105 from $100.
Research firm IHS Technology forecasts that $14 billion will be spent on online video advertising this year, up almost 30% from last year, highlighting the importance of video for Facebook.
Facebook has released several stand-alone apps as it breaks out features that have attracted hundreds of millions of users, all in an effort to generate revenue. Mobile is at the forefront of the push.
Mobile advertising revenue represented about 76% of the $3.827 billion in advertising revenue for the second quarter of 2015, up from approximately 62% in the year-ago quarter.
Messenger, which used to be a key function on Facebook's big blue app, is now its own separate app. It is the No. 1 free app on the Apple (AAPL) - Get Report App Store and now has more than 700 million people using it every month. Facebook has previously disclosed some of its plans to generate revenue from Messenger, allowing businesses to interact with consumers and vice versa.
The Palo Alto, Calif.-based company has several other apps, including Facebook Paper, a re-imagined look at the company's NewsFeed in a way that's similar to Flipboard, a popular social-network aggregator app that has more than 70 million monthly active users. Facebook has not disclosed how many users Paper has.
The company has tried unbundling its features with mixed success, as it seeks to keep retain users and attract more.
Instagram, Facebook's photo-sharing site, has more than 300 million monthly active users. It was highlighted by Zuckerberg as becoming "one of the best places to get a real-time snapshot of the world." Instagram has multiple related apps as well.
In addition to the core Instagram app, there is the Hyperlapse app, which was released in August last year. Instagram is the third-most downloaded app on Apple's App Store, but Hyperlapse isn't among the top 100 most downloaded apps overall or in the social networking category.
So far, WhatsApp, which Facebook acquired in 2014 for a mixture of cash and stock, has remained a stand-alone app. However, Facebook is working on adding features to the popular messaging platform, which now has more than 800 million monthly active users across the globe. Earlier this year, Facebook brought WhatsApp to the Web. More features are slated to come.
As Facebook evolves, Zuckerberg's desire to be a utility as opposed to a "move fast and break things" company is clear. It's about more than just being innovative -- it's about remaining a vital part of users' lives, every which way possible.