Facebook mobile-ad revenue expected to grow, but still looking for business model

By Erin Dismeier
Facebook's mobile-ad revenue is projected to grow, but
the service is still looking for a sustainable mobile model.
Facebook or Twitter?  Even though Facebook achieved popularity sooner, a recent report by online marketing-research firm eMarketer shows Twitter in 2012 will take in more U.S. mobile-ad revenue than Facebook.

This is partially because Promoted Tweets, a huge ad-revenue source for Twitter, are well-integrated into the service's "core user experience," making the "shift toward displaying mobile advertisements relatively simple," according to eMarketer. 

"Dick Costolo, Twitter CEO, boasts that Twitter was developed with mobile in mind," according to Digital Trends. "As the company began selling mobile ads earlier this year, just weeks into its mobile ad program, the company garnered more ad revenue from its Promoted Tweets program on its mobile platform than on its desktop app."

That said, eMarketer predicts Facebook will surpass Twitter in 2013 in the mobile-ad realm and will come in second in dollars only to Google. But concerns remain: Facebook hasn't yet integrated Marketplace ads, one of the company's key revenue sources, into its mobile product, according to eMarketer.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has called moving toward a mobile focus his biggest challenge, according to Bloomberg Businessweek. Tuesday at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference, "Zuckerberg said explicitly, for the first time, that he thinks Facebook will ultimately make money money per user on mobile than it makes on the desktop," according to Business Insider. "If this proves true--and, importantly, if it happens because mobile revenue per user soars instead of desktop revenue collapsing--Facebook's revenue growth should soon reaccelerate and then stay strong for years."

Photo courtesy of Flickr user Hummy

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