Facebook Highlights 1Q 2013 Advertising Achievements

By David Cohen 

Facebook’s transition to a mobile-first company continued with great speed during the first quarter of 2013, as the social network reported that 30 percent of its total advertising revenue during the period came from mobile, up from 23 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012.

Facebook also touted its mobile application install ads, saying that 3,800 developers turned to mobile app install ads during the quarter, resulting in nearly 25 million downloads.

The social network added that about 40 percent of the top 100 grossing apps for both the iOS and Android platforms used mobile app install ads, singling out U.K.-based telecommunications provider O2 and its exclusive use of the ad product to promote its O2 Tracks music app, resulting in the app reaching No. 6 on the U.K. iOS charts.

Other highlights shared by the social network included:

  • Custom audiences: The number of brands using custom audiences more than doubled compared with the fourth quarter of 2012, with 23 of Ad Age’s top 100 global marketers partaking. Facebook mentioned Hotels.com, Intuit, and Virgin America as successful custom audiences users.
  • Facebook Exchange: Retargeting platform AdRoll said its cost per click was 70 percent lower on Facebook than for traditional Web retargeting, and it had reallocated 63 percent of its total impressions to the social network by the beginning of the first quarter.
  • Partner categories: Brands can tap into third-party data from sources including Acxiom, Datalogix, and Epsilon to target, as the social network put it, “the 12 million people in the U.S. who are likely to purchase a car in the next six months, the 19 million people who are active purchasers of hair-care products, or the 23 million people in the U.S. who are heavy soda drinkers.”

Finally, Facebook shared some of its findings on the subject of measurement:

  • Multiple industrywide studies have validated a multiclick attribution approach such as that offered by Atlas, which Facebook acquired in February.
  • Nielsen and comScore believe clicks are not a good method of predicting offline sales gains, as does Datalogix, which found that 99 percent of users who saw Facebook ads and then bought the respective products in stores never actually clicked on the ads.
  • Aggregate Knowledge analyzed more than 500 online marketing campaigns and found that clients saw a 33 percent rise in actions, conversions, and sales after switching to multitouch attribution from last-touch attribution.

Readers: Any guesses on Facebook’s next big advertising product?