App-etite For Facebook: Mobile Is The New PC

By Julie D. Andrews 

Could mobile get any hotter? The latest number-crunching data from comScore reveal that Facebookers are more likely to connect to the social network through smartphones than through computers.

Overall, for the month of March, Facebookers spent an average of 441 minutes reaching out to get in touch with Facebook (where all their friends are) via the mobile application, compared with 391 minutes spent logging into the social network via PCs.

As is its fashion, Facebook all-out toppled its competition in mobile accessing, as smartphone users spent more time on the social network than on Foursquare, LinkedIn, Pinterest, or Twitter.

All told, a whopping 81 percent of the 78 million-plus unique visitors Facebook collects each month arrive through smartphones.

It is no doubt time for Facebook to beef up its mobile maneuverings so that it can wrangle more financial gain from it — not much actual revenue is currently generated from its mobile app.

But this will be a slippery slope for the company.

Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg has been known to stand his ground in wanting to protect his network and devices from the ad clog that could rapidly deter Facebook users and threaten the loyalty of the fan base thus far.

Such a strategy to monetize would have to fit in with his desire to keep users happy and maintain a user-core aesthetic. He has wanted to avoid a site and app overrun by ads, but will new pressures make him cave?

Such strategy development will require ingenuity and inventiveness. More ads are not likely to be the answer.

Facebook’s mobile app currently has no ads. Brand-sponsored posts first emerged on Facebookers’ news feeds this past January.

If ads are not the answer, what is? With Facebook’s approaching initial public offering, there is no doubt that the social network will have to answer questions about how it plans to bring in the cash.

Can you get an innovation team on that, Zuck? Readers: What would Steve Jobs do?