Facebook reported its Q4 revenue for the year 2012 which was at $1.585 billion, versus $1.131 billion in the year-ago period. But the most significant takeaway from these numbers was the growth of mobile revenue for the social networking site.
The mobile ad business now accounts for 23 percent of total ad revenue at Facebook, compared to 14 percent in the third quarter of 2012.
And CEO Mark Zuckerberg wasted no time in capitalising on this. He said during the investor call, “There’s no argument, Facebook is a mobile company.” He highlighted the fact that now more and more people are accessing Facebook on mobile than on desktop.
Mark Zuckerberg at the launch of Graph Search. AP
Zuckerberg pointed out to a comScore report that Facebook is now the top app in the US beating Google Maps. It accounts for 23 percent time spent on mobile apps in the US, followed by Instagram which is at 3 percent and Gmail also at 3 percent. View the full report here.
Zuckerberg also talked about how Facebook worked on improving their current batch of mobile apps this year. He referred to the Android update which saw the app being completely re-written, with increased stability and speed being the focus.
For Zuckeberg mobile is clearly where the money lies. He also said that the company would concentrate on providing ‘new mobile experiences’ for users.
Facebook launched a spate of mobile apps in 2012 from Poke to Facebook Camera to Facebook Page Managers and significant updates to the Facebook Messenger for Android and iOS. The iOS version of Messenger allows US and Canada users to make voice calls as well.
As far as advertising on mobile apps is concerned, they are here to stay. “Mobile ads have done well. Ads in newsfeed barely affected level of engagement in Facebook. There’s a big opportunity for us here“, said the Facebook CEO.
So if you are annoyed by those ads in your NewsFeeds, too bad, because they are not going away any time soon. Zuckerberg also hinted at the need for going beyond images and text in the ads. Are videos ads going to hit the NewsFeed soon? Highly likely.
As far as Graph Search was concerned, Zuckerberg sought to emphasise that this is an entirely new kind of search. and signals a market for a whole new kind of social connection. But he cautioned investors about getting too excited as far as revenue expectations from Graph Search was concerned, and said that the product was still beta and Facebook was still concentrating on rolling it out to users for now.