I've been one of many who have been saying for a while now that the nastier side of Facebook's aggressive slashing of organic reach is all about mobile. Today's results for Q1 would appear to back us
up. For the first time Facebook is now earning more through mobile than desktop. The 59% share of its ad revenues comes from a 43% hike in daily mobile active users, which now number 609m. It's clear
that this is where the social media giant's biggest future revenue gains lie as it starts to take share from the ever-dominant Google.
The issue for Facebook has always been about
monetising mobile -- because not only is the device a more personal channel, which owners are understandably more protective of, it's a smaller screen and those marketplace adverts on the right-hand
side don't make an appearance.
So, Facebook has clearly set its sights on selling the space in user's news feeds, often to brands who already have that user as a 'fan.'
can you say? It appears to be working. This time last year, mobile ad revenue was 30% of the total, and it's now 59%. This year it will account for more than one in five pounds of budget put into
mobile advertising. And it's a pot that's growing. eMarketer predicts mobile ad spend will be up 75% this year, reaching $31.45bn globally.
The result is joy for Facebook shareholders --
and while marketers say they will just use other social media channels, it's not like they have a huge amount of choice. So, to make up for the loss of, on average, more than 90% of their own fans
they won't be reaching, brands are bound to use Facebook this year to take conversations away from the channel. By that, I mean, expect brands you've liked on Facebook to do everything they can to get
your email and your friends' email addresses (perhaps Twitter user names?) through competitions and offers. This will allow huge followings to be communicated with without the interference of
Facebook's algorithm tweaks which claim to be about preventing 'spammy' news feeds but, clearly, are designed to boost mobile ad revenue. And my, how they've succeeded!