Facebook’s Mobile Success

At the end of last month, Facebook delivered an earnings report to their investors that showed significant progress on the mobile front.  In fact, the news propelled their shares by 20% following the press release.  In turn, the company gained around $10 billion in value due to the Wall Street buying spree that erupted.  And all of this happened because of Facebook Mobile?

It’s important to remember that Facebook is ad driven, and since going public, has a responsibility to their investors to increase earnings and theoretically continue to gain market value, thereby making money for stockholders.  As it turns out, while Facebook has fallen flat in the stock market in some respects, their mobile front has become a cash cow.  Mark Zuckerberg has made it clear that mobile growth is a top priority, saying “There is no argument… Facebook is a mobile company.”

Last year, the number of Facebook users on mobile devices surpassed those on regular computers.  This important shift made it easy to realize the ad revenue potential of mobile, and earlier this year, Facebook began displaying mobile ads to fully tap into that market.

The move absolutely paid off.  This year, mobile ad revenue has increased by 76% to $656 million compared to the same period last year.  Mobile devices now account for 41% of Facebook’s overall revenue; a significant increase from the previous two quarters which were 23% and 30% respectively.

According to a Time Magazine article,

“Part of this shift is being driven by a profound structural change in the technology industry thanks to the explosive growth of sophisticated smartphones like Apple’s iPhone and Google’s Android devices. The simple fact is that people are increasingly accessing Internet services like Facebook, Google, and Twitter on their smartphones, as opposed to traditional desktop computers. That’s why mobile ad revenue is rapidly becoming one of the most important consumer Internet metrics: In short, the locus of computing is moving away from the desktop and toward smartphones and tablets.”

With all of the successes in mobile, it is unclear what kind of effect will it have on non-mobile users.  If this trend continues, could we see Facebook shift all of their innovations and site improvements towards mobile?

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