Last year, Facebook told investors that it expected its 2017 revenue growth to slow “meaningfully” because the company is running out of places to show users ads in its core Facebook app.
Well, it’s now 2017, which means it’s time to see just how meaningful that slowdown actually is.
Facebook reports Q1 earnings on Wednesday, the first time that we’ll see numbers from the company this year.
Analysts expect Facebook’s quarterly revenue to come in at $7.83 billion, a 45 percent jump over the same quarter last year. For most companies that would be great growth — Twitter’s business, for example, is actually shrinking — but Facebook is not most companies. Last quarter, its business grew almost 51 percent; the quarter before that, growth was at almost 56 percent.
The problem is that Facebook says it has finally run out of room to put ads into News Feed, the core moneymaker for Facebook’s flagship app. It’s why the company is testing ads in other places, like Messenger and Instagram Stories. It’s also why it’s pushing so hard to get its mid-roll video ad business off the ground. If News Feed can’t provide revenue growth the way it has in the past, some other part of Facebook’s business will have to.
The good news for Facebook: Revenue growth is slowing because its revenue is really big. Analysts believe the company will bring in almost $38 billion this year.
More good news: Instagram, the company’s best defense against Snapchat and a service the New York Times just dubbed “Facebook’s next Facebook,” might pick up the slack. Research firm eMarketer believes Instagram will bring in $3.92 billion in 2017, more than double what it brought in last year.
These numbers are just estimates — Facebook doesn’t break out Instagram’s revenue — but that’s a positive sign that Facebook may have a second News Feed in the works.
Facebook reports earnings after market close on Wednesday. Analysts are looking for profits of $1.12 per share on $7.83 billion in revenue.
This article originally appeared on Recode.net.