FINANCE

Facebook Q2 revenue, profit soar amid strong increases in mobile ad spending

BY Marianne Wilson

Menlo Park, Calif. — Facebook Inc.’s revenue in the second quarter increased 61% to a better-than-expected $2.91 billion, up from $1.81 billion in the year-ago quarter, fueled by its fast-growing mobile advertising business.

Revenue from advertising was $2.68 billion, up 67% from last year. Mobile advertising revenue represented 62% of Facebook’s ad revenue in the second quarter, up from 41% in the year-ago period and 59% in first quarter 2014. Payments and other fees revenue was $234 million, a 9% increase from the same quarter last year.

Facebook posted $791 million in net income, compared with $333 million in second quarter 2013.

Facebook said it now has 1.32 billion monthly users. Roughly 62.8% of those users accessed Facebook’s service every day in the second quarter, up from 60.8% last year.

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OPERATIONS

Study: Top retail websites getting slower

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — Retail websites are getting slower … fast, according to a report by Radware, a provider of application delivery and application security solutions for virtual and cloud data centers. In just one year, median time to interact (TTI) has slowed down by 27% (from 4.9 seconds to 6.2 seconds), and median load time has suffered a 49% increase (from 7.2 seconds to 10.7 seconds).

The quarterly study titled “State of the Union: Ecommerce Page Speed & Web Performance, Summer 2014,” finds that of the top 100 retail websites, the median page has grown 67% in just one year and many are failing to leverage advanced techniques to help accelerate their pages.

According to the survey, use of images is one of the single performance drains, as most site owners are not taking advantage of image optimization techniques that can dramatically improve both real and perceived load times.

Radware also found that performance degradation continues to escalate as retail web pages grow larger and more complex. The median top 100 ecommerce home page takes six seconds or longer to render its primary content to online visitors – a 27% slowdown over the past year. This render time is more than twice as slow as the ideal user experience of three seconds or less.

Only 14% of the top 100 retail sites were able to deliver an optimal user experience. 17% took ten or more seconds just to be become interactive.

“We’re so accustomed to expecting to see high-quality images everywhere on the web that we take them for granted and don’t think about their heavy performance impact,” says Kent Alstad, VP of acceleration for Radware. “Page size has a direct impact on page speed, and images comprise at least half a typical page’s weight. As such, they represent an extremely fertile ground for optimization. Yet we found that many leading retailers are not taking advantage of techniques such as image compression and progressive image rendering, which can enhance both load times and user experience.”

To access the full report, which includes 15 best practices that site owners can implement to accelerate their pages, visit Radware.com/summer-sotu2014.

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OPERATIONS

Sainsbury’s store runs on electricity generated from food waste

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — Sainsbury’s has entered into a unique arrangement that closes the loop on food recycling. Its store in Cannock, Staffordshire, England, has come off the country’s national power grid for day-to-day electricity consumption and is running on power generated solely from food waste from Sainsbury’s supermarkets across the United Kingdom.

The new power supply was built in partnership with waste recycling company Biffa, and uses Biffa’s advanced anaerobic digestion (AD) facilities and a unique power link up.

Here’s how it works: The waste is collected from Sainsbury’s supermarkets using Sainsbury’s delivery trucks and delivered to Biffa’s plant in Cannock. It is then turned into bio-methane gas, which is then used to generate electricity at the Biffa plant. Electricity is directly supplied to the Cannock supermarket via a newly constructed electricity cable.

Sainsbury’s send zero operational waste to landfill. Any food waste that is unsuitable for charitable donations or animal feed is sent to anaerobic digestion at Biffa to be converted to energy.

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