Facebook Just Shared Insane Q4 Mobile Numbers and Ad Sales

Its smartphone promos alone did $2.5 billion

Facebook's mobile sales continue to skyrocket, now accounting for 69 percent of its advertising business, according to results it shared today.

During the 2014 fourth quarter, Facebook did $3.6 billion in total ad sales, which was a 53 percent year over year increase. The Menlo Park, Calif.-based tech giant obviously cashed in with holiday marketers, who were looking to rack up retail revenues with social News Feed ads.

The booming sales were accompanied by a rising global user base that now sits at nearly 1.4 billion monthly active users, up 13 percent year over year. In all, Facebook took in about $12.5 billion in revenue in 2014, a 58 percent increase.

Facebook also confirmed that video views hit 3 billion daily, tripling since September. "Video is a format that marketers have used for a long time to build an emotional connection to brands," Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook's COO, said during a call with analysts today.

Facebook is going after digital video ad dollars just like rivals Google, Twitter, Snapchat and others. To attract brands, all platforms are unveiling new video capabilities, and Facebook led the way last year with autoplay for users and brands.

Facebook credited the explosion in video advertising to users who are posting more videos, too. Without user interest in the format, the ads would be jarring in the News Feed, Sandberg said.

The quarterly numbers show a Facebook that has become a dominant player in the digital ad industry, only behind Google. In fact, eMarketer has predicted Facebook would account for 10 percent of all digital ad sales this year.

Jan Rezab, CEO of Socialbakers, which tracks brands on social media, said Facebook's performance was all the more impressive because it hasn't even heavily pushed ads to Instagram, which also has 300 million users.

"We're talking about a company that 24 months ago did $1 billion in revenue and now does $4 billion," Rezab said. "That's impressive."

Ad industry watchers have said that—in the first part of this year—budgets continue to accelerate aggressively in Facebook's direction. "In some cases, 50 percent of digital ad spend is going to social," Rezab said.

Here's a look at other key numbers from Facebook's fourth-quarter and full-year report:

  • At 69 percent of its ad sales, mobile revenue topped $2.5 billion last quarter. Mobile accounted for 66 percent of the tech company's ad sales during Q3 2014.
  • Its mobile app alone has 745 million daily users, up 34 percent year over year.
  • Facebook's messenger app has 526 million monthly users. 
  • Monthly mobile users rose 26 percent to 1.2 billion in 2014, which means almost all Facebook users are at least partially mobile.
  • In total, Facebook attracts 1.4 billion monthly users on desktop alone, 890 million of who are daily users.
  • Profits last year hit $2.9 billion, almost double the previous year's profits.