This article was published on October 31, 2013

Facebook’s referral traffic has exploded over the last year, and mobile now accounts for over a quarter

Facebook’s referral traffic has exploded over the last year, and mobile now accounts for over a quarter

Social analytics firm Shareaholic today released Facebook referral traffic data for the last year. The most noticeable trend by far is the fact that mobile referrals have grown to account for more than one in four of Facebook’s total referrals.

More specifically, Facebook’s mobile referrals were 12.1 percent of its total referrals in September 2012. This figure more than doubled in September 2013 to 26.7 percent. Here’s the breakdown from Shareholic, which tracks 250 million users visiting its network of 200,000 publishers:


Here’s how Shareholic summarizes the table:

  • Publishers saw traffic from Facebook mobile users grow 253 percent.
  • More than half of Facebook’s referral traffic growth came from mobile. Facebook’s overall growth increased by 3.84 percentage points while mobile alone grew 1.98 percentage points.

Shareholic has previously shared that Facebook referrals make up more than 10 percent of overall traffic to its publishers (of the eight social media platforms the firm tracks, Facebook is unsurprisingly the largest). Today it is showing what effect mobile has had on this overall growth. Percentages of percentages aside, it’s clear that Facebook’s mobile referrals are driving Facebook’s overall referrals, which in turn is showing up as a jump in traffic from the social network.

As has been well documented over and over again, Facebook’s referral traffic has exploded this year. Many have suspected the reason is because the company has been upping its focus on mobile, and now it’s clear this is in fact the case.


Facebook yesterday released its latest quarterly earnings, in which it also revealed new user milestones: 1.19 billion monthly active users, 874 million monthly active mobile users, and 728 million daily active users. As always, the biggest jump was for mobile users, which saw an increase of 45 percent year-over-year. Furthermore, the company revealed that almost half of its advertising revenue now stems from mobile.

All this adds up to the fact Facebook is successfully transforming itself into a mobile company. That’s exactly what it set out to do, just three years ago.

See also – Facebook starts rolling out Custom Audiences to all advertisers, letting them use contact lists for targeted ads and Google partners with Facebook to help its clients buy retargeted ads via the social network’s FBX platform

Top Image Credit: Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images