On the heels of Facebook announcing its first quarter earnings of 2013, the social networking company has revealed that it has 751 million mobile active users, an increase of 54 percent year over year. It has also reported ad revenue in the first quarter of $1.25 billion with 30 percent coming from mobile, or $375 million.
The 751 million mobile users is particularly important because it marks the second consecutive quarter that more users accessed the site from a mobile device than from the Web (665 million users).
Sterne Agee analyst Arvind Bhatia predicted that Facebook would bring in $360 million in mobile advertising revenue this quarter, an 18 percent increase. Likewise, JP Mogan analyst Doug Anmuth also thought the company’s revenue would be around that number — at the very least $320 million. Last quarter, Facebook earned $305 million.
For the previous two quarters, Facebook has seen its mobile advertising revenue make up a larger part of its total revenue. In Q3 2012, it accounted for 14 percent, while in Q4, it was 23 percent. Last quarter also marked the first time the company saw more users on its mobile platform than on the desktop so it’s probably expected by analysts that this trend will continue, resulting in a higher probability of greater revenue from Facebook’s mobile ad product.
When looking at mobile-only monthly active users, that number has gone up by 32 million from the previous quarter and 106 million from last year, an increase of 127 percent.
There are some that believe that the key to its revenue is its mobile app install ads, which Facebook has been making expeditious updates to over the past few months. Last March, this ad format was updated to allow developers to target their audiences based on the mobile device’s operating system and whether it was on WiFi or using a data connection.
Perhaps one of the most important metrics that analysts and investors are looking at, if Facebook’s mobile ad revenue is down, then there might be some cause to worry. After all, the company and its CEO Mark Zuckerberg have said that they need to do better on the mobile front and being able to monetize where its users are can greatly affect investor confidence in the service.
In a recent study conducted by Facebook, it found that 70 percent of all respondents use Facebook on their phone — 61 percent of which use the service every day. The company also found out that out of all the things that could be done on a smartphone, being on Facebook was the third most popular activity. 70 percent said that the Facebook app has become one of the most commonly used applications — right below checking email (78 percent) and Web browsing (73 percent).
Some of the other highlights relating to its advertising efforts include that it launched new products such as Lookalike Audiences, Managed Custom Audiences, and Partner Categories to help improve targeting for companies on Facebook. Additionally, the company says that it will “continue to invest” in its ad serving a measurement platforms. Specifically, it has already partnered with Datalogix, Epsilon, Acxiom, and BlueKai to provide more purchasing data to advertisers, and integrating Atlas Advertising Suite’s offering into its platform.
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