Facebook defends mobile ad plans

Facebook has defended plans to release software that enables firms to send adverts to smartphones even if device is locked

Facebook has defended plans to release software in 2013 that will enable firms to send adverts to members’ smartphones even if the device is locked.

The move is part of the social networking firm’s mobile platform strategy.

Facebook chief Sheryl Sandberg believes smartphones may become more important for advertising than television, according to the Guardian.

On a visit to London, Sandberg also played down concern that Facebook users will be bombarded with unwanted commercial messages.

"Our goal is not to increase the number of ads you receive, but to increase the usefulness of those ads to you," she said.

Mobile advertising boosts revenues

Mobile advertising is an important source of revenue for Facebook, which was a top earner of mobile advertising revenue in the US for 2012 after it introduced ads alongside status updates on smartphones.

According to research firm eMarketer, Facebook’s mobile ads also helped the social networking firm capture 18.4% of the mobile ad market.

The move also helped overall advertising revenues rise 36% year-on-year to $4.27bn in 2012, according to Facebook’s latest full-year financial results.

The social networking firm’s fourth quarter results for 2012, almost a quarter of Facebook’s business was mobile with 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-on-year.

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.”

He 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,” he said.

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

In October 2012, Facebook opened its first engineering centre outside the US in London that is focused on building Facebook mobile and platform products.


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