Facebook Continues Mobile Monetization Push In Third-Quarter Earnings Call

By Justin Lafferty 

Over the past few months, Facebook has made a more aggressive push to make money on its mobile platform. The social network announced in its third-quarter report that it is making impressive progress in its shift to mobile, as 14 percent of advertising revenue in the third quarter came from mobile. The company now has 604 million mobile monthly active users.

In Facebook Co-Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s opening statement Tuesday, he reiterated that mobile is at the company’s forefront. He said that over the next few years, Facebook wants to build the best mobile product possible, to create a platform so that applications can be more social and promote sharing, and to make Facebook into one of the world’s most valuable companies.

Zuckerberg also noted that people who use mobile apps visit Facebook more often. He pointed out that someone who accesses Facebook through their computer has only a 40 percent likelihood of visiting the site on any given day, compared with 70 percent for mobile users.

One of the biggest mobile improvements Facebook has made comes within its iOS app. Zuckerberg reported an 80 percent increase in iOS news feed loads and more than a 20 percent increase in engagement through the Apple app.

Naturally, with more eyeballs on mobile comes more chances for monetization, as Zuckerberg explained:

I believe that over the long run, we’re going to see more monetization for time spent on mobile than on desktop. Now this isn’t proven yet, but we’re committed to getting there. The reason why I believe this is that on mobile, monetization has to be integrated deeply into our product. On desktop, we’ve built a multibillion-dollar business with ads on the side, separated from people’s primary experience, but on mobile, we believe ads will be more like TV, high-quality and integrated into the experience, rather than off to the side.

As Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg noted, Facebook is bringing in more money from advertising.

The company’s total third-quarter revenue checked in at $1.26 billion, with $1.09 billion coming from advertising. Sandberg said this is a 32 percent year-over-year increase in overall revenue and a 36 percent increase from advertising.

She talked about the success of offers, which Facebook reintroduced about one month ago. Since relaunching, roughly 100,000 pages had created offers, and about 30 percent of the offer claims came from mobile devices. Facebook also recently debuted custom audiences and expanded the rollout of Facebook Exchange.

Custom audiences, which helps marketers use their customer list or other data to target Facebook ads in a privacy-protected way, has given businesses a match rate of more than 50 percent (and sometimes as high as 95 percent). Facebook Exchange lets businesses bid on specific impressions in real-time. Sandberg talked about how brands have seen marked success using these two new offerings.

She also addressed mobile monetization:

Marketers want to reach mobile customers because that’s where people are spending more of their time. We believe that no one is better positioned than we are to help marketers capitalize on the transition to mobile.

Our mobile user base is huge, growing, and even more engaged than our desktop users, and importantly, we deliver an experience that works for ads, since a significant portion of time on Facebook mobile is spend using news feed.

In Q3, we saw marketers embrace news feed on both mobile and desktop as a growing part of their advertising strategies. This is driving results, given that page post ads and news feed on both mobile and desktop are more than eight times as engaging as page post ads on the right-hand side. Advertisers are also seeing a 10 times greater ad recall per impression.

Readers: Are you seeing more ads in your mobile news feed?