Facebook’s Mobile Mojo

Last week I chatted with The Globe and Mail about Facebook’s rapid upturn in mobile revenues. The full article is online but as usual there’s plenty I thought about that didn’t make it into the article. So for your edification, here are the six bulleted notes I made for myself before the call.

How Facebook found its mobile mojo


Ads are just half the story so while mobile display advertising revenue is up, we need to pay attention to the “app center” revenue as well. App installs are slated to be a $1bn a year market. The other thing to consider is that with the new formats, many marketers are buying mobile by default.

Has the Facebook platform changed? Probably not – if anything it has simplified and come back to focus on basic principles, in particular the concept of “native ads”

The app is likely the #1 most downloaded app on all mobile OS. The basic structure of the apps have again been changed and simplified to better account for these native ads – meaning the content you see on the desktop is the same as you see on the mobile experience

The focus on mobile has illustrated a sea change from Facebook as a business. When it IPO’d, Mark Zuckerberg said that it didn’t make better products to make more money, it made money to make better products. The news that product teams are now responsible for the advertising in the product is a big philosophical change

By the numbers, by sheer brute force of having 1bn users, it was inevitable that Facebook would crack mobile…I’m interested to see how Facebook tracks against ARPU (average revenue per user)

Finally, if the ad follows you around the Facebook experience, from desktop to mobile to the logout page and even, now with FBX and where that could take you, around the web as a whole, how will this impact the overall experience – at what point will advertising revenues either top out or change the experience so much that the regular users start to reject the experience in favour of new, more personal, intimate online expressions of themselves.

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