Facebook mobile revenue leaps as users reach 1.1 billion

03/05/2013

Facebook revenues have risen to $219m during the first 3 months of the year, with mobile ads now accounting for nearly a third of all its advertising, according to the social network's latest financial results.

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facebook%20mobile%203.jpg The social network made $219m in the first three months of the year, compared to $205m in the year-ago period.

Revenues in the first quarter totaled $1.46bn, versus $1.06bn in the year-ago period.

Mobile boost

Mobile ads accounted for 30% of total advertising revenues in the first quarter, up from 23% in the fourth quarter of 2012.

According to Facebook, it generated mobile advertising revenue of almost $375m, during the period, up from nearly $330m in the previous three months and approximately $150m in the three months to 30 September 2012.

There have been doubts over Facebook's ability to sell adverts on mobile devices, not least due to their small screen size. Investors had feared that its growth may be hurt as a result. "We've made a lot of progress in the first few months of the year," said Facebook's founder Mark Zuckerberg.

By Christmas, more than half its visitors – 680 million a month – were using mobile devices. Nearly a quarter of Facebook advertising revenue is generated by the small screen.

Mobile visitors are more valuable to Facebook. Zuckerberg told investors last year: "Someone who uses only our desktop product has only a 40% likelihood of using Facebook on a given day.

But someone who uses mobile has a 70% likelihood of using Facebook on a given day. This stat is surprising to many people and very good news for our opportunity on mobile."

User decline in key markets?

In the firm’s quarterly results, Facebook said it now had 1.11 billion monthly active users around the world, up 23% from a year ago.

Facebook also reported an increase in users who access Facebook every day, these, on average, rose 8% from December to 655 million in March.

Mobile monthly active users were 751 million, up 54%. But much of the growth is coming from poorer nations, where advertising revenues are lower.

Facebook has lost 10 million users in the US and seen no growth in monthly visitors in the UK over the past year, according to data from market research firm Nielsen.

Research shows that the number of unique visitors to the Facebook website from computers, smartphones and tablets has fallen from 153m in March 2012 to 142m in March this year, having peaked at 158m last August.

In the UK, users peaked at 28 million in October before declining to 26 million in March according to Nielsen data on home and work users. As of March, the Facebook website had no more UK users than it did a year ago, suggesting that its expansion has plateaued.

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