But Facebook’s turnaround has been fast, and the concerted effort, one year in, has already made a notable impact on the way the social network earns its worldwide ad revenues.
Digital software marketing firm Kenshoo Social looked at its clients’ advertising allocations on Facebook. Businesses served came from a range of verticals around the world, including retail, financial services, entertainment and travel. The digital marketing firm found that already, in December 2012, one in five advertiser dollars on Facebook went to mobile.
Breaking down how that mobile spending was distributed by device, the company found, unsurprisingly, that on smartphones, Android received the bulk of Facebook ad spend, at 71%, while on tablets, nearly all Facebook mobile advertising revenues went to iOS devices. This parallels Android’s dominance in the worldwide smartphone market, while Apple’s iPad remains the tablet standard-bearer.
Overall, mobile display advertising has demonstrated high user engagement, and Facebook is clearly putting a premium on its mobile advertising. Cost-per-click on mobile ads was $1.38 vs. 81 cents on desktop, according to Kenshoo Social. This is also a reflection of the prime real estate Facebook ads receive in a mobile user’s feed.
Research firm Cowen and Company estimated in January that this year, Facebook’s total worldwide ad revenues would reach $6 billion, with $1.7 billion coming from mobile, a slightly smaller share than Kenshoo’s data would indicate. eMarketer’s estimate for worldwide Facebook ad revenues is slightly lower than Cowen and Company’s at $5.54 billion.
By 2016, Cowen and Company predicted mobile Facebook ad revenues would be only $1.1 billion behind desktop ad revenues.