Facebook puts mobile first, so should advertisers

Last week Facebook announced ‘Home’, a way to transform your android smartphone into a Facebook centric phone.

CoverFeed (1)It is not quite an operating system, but a family of apps that places Facebook at the heart of your mobile phone, a whole new user interface centred around Facebook.

Mark Zuckerberg said that the aim was to put people first, not how phones are currently designed to put apps and tasks first.

Facebook has made their intention clear, they have firmly become a ‘mobile’ company.

And as obvious as it may be why they are going down this route, given that mobile is the future, there are some interesting stats to indicate the timing of this move.

According to statistics from Facebook’s 2012 fourth quarter earnings report, Facebook has:

  • Just over 1 billion Monthly Active Users (MAU) as of December 31, 2012, an increase of 25% year-over-year
  • On average 618 million Daily active users (DAUs)  for December 2012, an increase of 28% year-over-year
  • 680 million Mobile MAUs as of December 31, 2012, an increase of 57% year-over-year
  • Mobile DAUs exceeded web DAUs for the first time in the fourth quarter of 2012

The last point is key, more people are using Facebook on their mobiles (about 60%) everyday than on desktop computers.

Surely then brands advertising on Facebook, should consider the mobile experience?

The other day I came across a paid Facebook ad on my phone, it was British Airways Sponsored Story.

Given the current miserable weather here, it was timely and appealing.

But when I clicked through to the link, instead of a mobile optimised website I received the normal website, I immediately closed the browser, not satisfied with the experience.

British Airways Sponsored Story on Facebook       British Airways Website on Smartphone

In this instance, that was wasted advertising money.

And make no mistake about it, a lot of money is being spent on Facebook advertising.

New forecasts from eMarketer show Facebook’s mobile revenue this year will be nearly $1bn. In fact, most advertising money on mobile display is foretasted to be spent on Facebook.

US net mobile ad revenues, by company 2011-2015 - eMarketer

Bear in mind those figures are only for the US. That is potentially a lot of wasted/ineffective advertising money.

eBay recently produced a report which revealed £1.8 Billion is “up for grabs” in mobile retail as providers roll out 4G, but how can brands expect to take a share of this if they do not have an effective mobile strategy in place.

Advertisers need to start thinking mobile first.

Work in Digital Marketing?

Get weekly emails with the latest news, advice and more. No spam guaranteed.

By Sandeep Vadgama


  • http://twitter.com/ormlondon ORM London

    The BA ad is a striking example of bad user experience
    Here is something on How Mobile is Changing Retail http://bit.ly/12HTsu4

  • http://twitter.com/JaneFrankland Jane Frankland

    It amazes me that many businesses don’t have mobile optimized websites, let alone large corporates. Shame on you BA! I don’t think there’s any excuse.