This past September, Facebook crossed the one billion member mark. 600 million of those people accessed the site using a mobile device. The majority of smartphone hits are coming in off of an Android device, while Apple’s iPad accounts for the majority of the tablet hits.
What’s really incredible is that one year ago, Facebook didn’t have ads on their mobile apps but once they filed their IPO it became a huge priority.
A year later, its an entirely different picture:
The numbers come from a report by Kenshoo Social and eMarketer agrees, they’re in the right ballpark. They quote stats from Cowen and Company which come in with a slightly lower split but it’s still good news for Facebook. Look at the predicted climb over the next few years.
Facebook is putting a lot of stock in those mobile ads and that means they come with a premium price – $1.38 per click versus .81 per click on the desktop. It’s a bargain, because mobile ads have the potential to be more engaging than desktops, primarily because of the lack of competition. One ad on a small screen is going to draw the eye better than one out of four ads tucked in the sidebar of a full desktop screen. Mobile ads have tighter targeting, so you have a better chance of not only catching someone’s attention, but catching the attention of a true, potential customer.
The downside for Facebook is the limited mobile landscape. Without a sidebar, ads have to fit into the newsfeed flow. Pack in too many ads and watch the users rebel.
With limited space and more advertisers clamoring for a piece of pie, where does Facebook go from here? The logical step would be their own ad network – something they considered and then abandoned at the end of last year. Think they’re over the concept for good? I wouldn’t bet on it.