Facebook’s latest feat: Conquering mobile
It only rolled out mobile ads last year. Now it's on pace to triple.
August 29, 2013
Facebook was embarrassingly late to the mobile advertising game. It didn’t even offer ads for its mobile products until last year.
Now, however, it appears to be making up for that lost time.
A new forecast out today from eMarketer predicts the world’s No. 1 social networking site will nearly triple its share of global mobile advertising dollars this year compared to last, going from 5.35 percent to 15.85 percent.
That’s up from a forecast of 12.9 percent earlier this year.
It will rank second in total mobile dollars behind only Google, which dominates the market with a 53.17 percent share. Mobile includes both smartphones and tablet devices.
“This is mostly a story about the company redistributing its own desktop revenues toward mobile as its users shift behavior,” says Clark Fredricksen, vice president at eMarketer.
“The company is also seeing incremental growth from mobile ads, and the result is that Facebook is causing significantly more dollars being added to the overall mobile ad market — and gaining share as a result.”
Facebook began adding ads to newsfeeds last year.
They are identified as “sponsored” and are tailored to the user’s interests based on what they’ve liked or clicked on within the mobile feed, a practice that advertisers favor because it’s more likely the ad will result in a conversion.
Facebook’s mobile ad growth has been rapid. During second quarter, mobile ads accounted for 41 percent of all its advertising, the company said during a recent conference call, up from 23 percent in the previous quarter.
Advertisers are following users to their preferred devices. Earlier this year, mobile users of the social network outpaced desktop users for the first time, and earlier this month the company said that 78 percent of its 128 million daily users in the U.S. access the site via mobile devices.
The eMarketer report comes just days after another forecast from the company that found that mobile advertising growth will be a major catalyst for U.S. advertising gains this year.
Google remains the king of mobile advertising, just as it dominates total digital advertising.
The search giant will account for more than three times the amount of ad dollars as the other top-five mobile advertising sites combined.
“Google accounts for the lion’s share of mobile search ad revenues, and as a result, maintains a huge lead in the mobile market overall,” Fredricksen says.
“Google also controls a large mobile display ad network and is focusing more on monetizing YouTube on mobile devices, which also contributes to its overall share.”
Only one other social media network, Twitter, made the top five in eMarketer’s forecast. The microblogging site accounted for 1.57 percent of all global mobile ad dollars last year, and that will rise to 1.85 percent this year, fifth overall.
Pandora is No. 3 with 2.37 percent, and Yellow Pages are fourth with 2.27 percent.
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