Successful online trading in stocks requires the right technology and an insight into what the market leaders are up to. It doesn't take much close observation though to realize that Facebook intends to stay in its coveted position at the head of the pack.
Q2 Results Reinforce Facebook at the Top of the Competition
Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) is never complacent. It just seems to keep pushing the boundaries of innovation and not resting on the fact that it's the most popular and largest social network in the world, since it knows that the threat of the competition keeps getting stronger. It plans many steps ahead of the competition and comes up with new challenges to face and overcome. For investors, that means the stock price keeps heading up – great news indeed!
Its recent second quarter earnings presentation, where it revealed a 59% increase in revenue, 186% net income growth, and a 1.3 billion user base that is still growing, is proof that it's doing very well indeed with little indication that the trend is going to reverse anytime in the near future. But that certainly is no license to rest on the laurels.
Project Aquila – Facebook's New Challenge
The social network's Project Aquila is proof of that! This is Facebook's drone-based project conceived with the aim to expand Internet access to the estimated 4 billion people, or 60% of the global population, living without it in the remote corners of the world. It has only begun experimenting, but the drone has already managed its maiden test flight. This is quite an aggressive experiment indeed, since though the idea to bring Internet to everyone is pioneering in itself, the innovation and effort required to engineer and construct a drone is no mean feat but a gigantic step for a company known only for its social networking platform.
The drone is solar powered, making it super-efficient. It has the wingspan of a conventional passenger airliner, but only requires the power of three hair dryers to cruise at 60,000 feet! As it stays aloft, the idea is to enable it to provide wireless Internet to a 60-mile diameter area around it.
Internet for All
Facebook obviously realizes the scale of the task that lies ahead, if Aquila is to ever become a reality. Apart from the massive engineering challenges involved, there are also political hurdles in various countries to overcome, as well as security and business challenges that must all be dealt with before the drone Internet technique can be deployed in a widespread manner. However, in spite of the challenges involved, Facebook acknowledges the importance of projects such as this. It's not only for pushing its boundaries to stay ahead of the competition and maintain the industry leader position, but also to generate significant investor interest and to put on a humanitarian face as well, by being a catalyst for making the world a more connected and empowered place for many.
Let's not forget that Alphabet (NASDAQ: GOOG) tried something similar in 2013, called the Project Loon that involved flying high-altitude balloons around 11 miles above the surface of the earth to transmit wireless cellular signals for Internet access to wide areas. So Facebook isn't alone in this territory, and it must therefore think ahead of the competition for its own business advantage.
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