A year ago, Facebook made zero money from mobile advertising because it had yet to launch a mobile ad product. Now mobile accounts for 20 percent of advertisers’ spending on Facebook, according to social ad firm Kenshoo Social.
The findings—based on more than 2 million Facebook ad clicks and conversions during November and December—aren’t that surprising considering that Facebook reported during its last earnings call that mobile makes up 14 percent of the company’s total ad revenue. Helping matters, mobile costs more. Kenshoo Social saw that the average desktop ad click cost advertisers $0.81 whereas the average mobile ad click cost $1.38.
That price divide is likely due to scarcity and function. A laptop user checking his or her News Feed may see an ad or two in the feed plus a couple along the right side of the page. A mobile user, however, may only see one or two ads in the feed, but those mobile ads will take up more of their smartphone’s or tablet’s screen. It also may make more sense for the mobile user to click on an ad, thanks to Facebook’s recently launched mobile app install ads. That ad unit is more apt for its environment than a Sponsored Story pushing a brand’s Facebook page. Not that Sponsored Stories are suffering on mobile. Facebook said during its earnings call that three-quarters of the $4 million-plus it rakes in daily from News Feed ads comes from mobile.
While advertisers seem willing to spend some extra dimes on mobile users, they’re not eyeing all mobile users. Unsurprisingly advertisers spent more to reach iPad users than Android tablet users, with 97 of tablet spend going to Apple’s device. On the other hand, Android won out in attracting a larger share of smartphone dollars, 71 percent versus the iPhone’s 29 percent. Those stats may shift in the wake of Facebook letting advertisers target their mobile ads by device, which could let advertisers prioritize a given device’s user base.