Facebook: Mobile users outnumber Web users
Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) bounced back from a quarter hampered by shortcomings in mobile with some promising statistics about its users. Most notably, its mobile monthly active users skyrocketed 57 percent year-over-year to 680 million at the end of 2012.
Facebook's mobile presence has expanded so much that the company now counts more daily mobile active users than daily Web active users. Its mobile advertising efforts have increased accordingly with 23 percent of its advertising revenue coming from mobile, up from 14 percent in the previous quarter.
"In 2012, we connected over a billion people and became a mobile company," said Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook founder and CEO, in a prepared statement. "We enter 2013 with good momentum and will continue to invest to achieve our mission and become a stronger, more valuable company."
Despite surpassing analyst's revenue estimates for the quarter with $1.59 billion, Facebook's stock was down immediately after earnings were announced, in part due to a weaker-than-expected increase in mobile ad revenue. Analysts at JPMorgan Chase & Co. expected mobile to contribute $384.2 million, or 27 percent of ad revenue, in Facebook's most recent quarter, reported Bloomberg.
"What stands out from Facebook's Q4 results is the centrality of mobile for its service strategy and growth," wrote Eden Zoller, principal analyst at Ovum. "Revenues from mobile advertising accounted for 23 percent of total advertising revenues compared to 14ppercent in the previous quarter, with sponsored stories in the mobile news feed and app install ads proving effective. Walmart alone delivered 50 million mobile ads to customers. This solid progress on the mobile advertising front should be applauded as a key challenge for Facebook has been how to monetize its growing mobile user base, particularly as an increasing number interact with the platform by only via mobile devices."
Just last quarter, Facebook struggled to convince investors that it would be able to monetize its mobile experience. Since then the company has released Graph Search Beta, a redesigned version of its app for Android--Facebook for Android 2.0--and a Facebook Messenger service that supports voice calling.
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