Facebook Is Growing Mobile Revenues Way Faster Than Anyone Thought
The Street may not love the financial results Facebook just announced for the fourth quarter of 2012, but in the area it matters most, the blue giant is doing a lot better than was previously known.
On an earnings call, founder Mark Zuckerberg said that 23% of Facebook‘s ad revenues now come from mobile ads. That comes out to about $300 million for the quarter.
That means that even if mobile revenues don’t accelerate at all, just hold steady at their current level, Facebook will completely blow away eMarketer’s forecast of $851 million for 2013.
And they will accelerate, obviously. In fact, they doubled just from the third to the fourth quarter. And to think that concerns over Facebook’s abilities to monetize mobile in any meaningful way were a big part of what dragged down its IPO just eight months ago.
“Today, there’s no argument,” Zuckerberg said on the call. “Facebook is a mobile company.” No argument here, definitely.
It’s not likely that Facebook will be able to catch up to Google, which eMarketer says will book about $4 billion in mobile ads this year. But it’s certainly conceivable that it could happen by 2013.
Meanwhile, Facebook will try to steal a march on Google in search with its new Graph Search product, even as Google seeks to retrofit its own search engine with social data from Google+.
Asked about the competition, Zuckerberg made it sound like his company was a decade ahead of its rival rather than the other way around.
“Our whole product is people and structured connections to other people and the things they like,” he said. “Google and others may be trying to put in some of the structured foundations but we have years of experience trying to build that up. We’re just coming from a completely different place.”