It was never a big secret that Facebook's megabucks were going to come through monetising mobile -- but it has certainly surprised most onlookers quite how quickly the social media giant has managed
Profits have doubled in Q2 this year compared to last, driven by mobile which now accounts for nearly two in three of every ad dollars Facebook earns.
The results can
finally put to bed the myth, or at best half truth, that Facebook still propagates -- drastically reducing organic reach for brands really had little to do with cleaning up "spammy" news feeds. It
really has always been about driving additional ad spend by, in particular, opening up the mobile channel.
The spam argument always fell short when one considers that users are free to
report spammy adverts and block the advertiser and the rather obvious fact that Facebook was actually turning down the reach of brands that fans had chosen to interact with.
So to my mind,
Forrester analyst Anthony Mullen is bang on the money. His comments, reported by The Drum today, that marketers are really peeved with Facebook are completely in line with my experience. Part of the
annoyance is in the way it's done. Picture the scene -- a marketing exec looks at their page figures and sees interaction and reach falling through the floor. After wracking their brains over what
they must have done wrong and what they're going to tell the client, it dawns -- it's a Google-like algorithm change. Why don't they just be open about it?
Of course, the main problem is
the twin issue that marketers hate what Facebook has done at the same time as they realise there really isn't a whole lot they can do about it.
It's a little like taking a trip out on a
boat on vacation. There you are, all seated and comfortable a mile from shore, when the local fisherman turned tourist boat captain mentions the price on the harbour wall doesn't reflect the trip he's
offering. To carry on everyone has to stump up another handful of Euros. We've all been there, haven't we, in one form or another? What are you going to do -- dig deep or jump ship and swim back?
There is a lot of talk about marketers trying to straddle both approaches by limiting expenditure on Facebook while they look at other channels. Trouble is -- nothing has the reach, the
numbers and the interactivity that Facebook offers. Most of all, no other social platform has Facebook's data.
If b2b is your thing, then you're lucky there's LinkedIn -- but if you're
trying to reach a mass of consumers and you're already committed to Facebook, what are you going to do? You know and I know there's only thing to do. Dig deeper and have a good moan.
to be so blunt, but it's the marketing equivalent of when you're a mile out to shore and if the trip you thought you were on will still deliver what you were hoping, you're going to have to pay for
some little extras.
When that extra is reaching your fan base, and those similar to them -- and to make it even more compelling, reaching them on mobile -- you really have no
Like it or lump it, you're stuck.