Facebook turns into a mobile business

Almost a quarter of Facebook’s business is now mobile, according to the company’s latest financial results

Almost a quarter of Facebook’s business is now mobile, according to the company’s latest financial results

The fourth quarter (Q4) 2012 results showed that 22% of its advertising revenue came from mobile usage in Q4 up from 14% in Q3. The company reported monthly mobile users were 680 million as of 31 December 2012, an increase of 57% year-over-year.

Overall, revenue for the quarter was $1,585bn, up $454 from $1,131bn for the same quarter in 2011.

Speaking at an analyst webcast, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said: “2012 was a big year for us. More people are using Facebook on mobile devices rather than on desktops.” 

Zuckerberg claimed that 23% of app time in the US is spent on Facebook. 

“Facebook is a mobile company. Mobile is a perfect device for Facebook. It allows us to reach more people,” Zuckerberg said.

He said the company spent 2012 improving its mobile application development process. 

“Now we want to get really good at building first for the mobile [platform],” he said. 

Zuckerberg also highlightedthe recently launched Graph search feature, which enables users to search across their social network. He believes Graph and future social tools will empower new business models.

The company plans to increase headcount in 2013, in the area of product development. 

“We’re at an interesting point in our evolution where there are lots of areas we need to invest in. We need to build the best mobile experience and we need to extend our platform,” Zuckerberg said.

Commenting on the results, Eden Zoller, principal analyst at Ovum, said: “Wal-Mart alone delivered 50 million mobile ads to customers. This solid progress on the mobile advertising front should be applauded. A key challenge for Facebook has been how to monetise its growing mobile user base, particularly as an increasing number interact with the platform by only via mobile devices.”

Zoller added: "Facebook reported 680 mobile monthly active users in Q4, of which 157 million were exclusively mobile. Facebook also noted that the recently launched Graph Search would be a pillar for future growth, although it would not be drawn on details. There will be growing pressure for Facebook to monetise Graph Search over the coming quarters and the most obvious way it could do so is via sponsored search.”

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