After filing for an initial public offering (IPO) earlier this month, Facebook is looking to generate more revenue from its mobile audience, which comprises nearly half of their traffic. According to the Financial Times, Facebook plans to start displaying ads in their mobile app and the mobile version of their web site by early March. The Facebook IPO filing states that the company isn’t making any “meaningful revenue” from mobile, but it seems that this is about to change.
The First Round of Mobile Ads
Facebook’s IPO filing hinted that it is considering rolling out mobile Sponsored Stories, which launched in 2011 on the desktop version of the site. These are ads that use your friends’ likes, check-ins, and comments to determine what ads to display for you. From the IPO filing (emphasis mine):
Mobile Advertising. The global mobile advertising market was $1.5 billion in 2010 and is expected to grow at a 64% compound annual rate to $17.6 billion in 2015 according to an industry source. According to a third-party report published in September 2010, the Facebook app is the most frequently downloaded app across all major smartphone platforms in the United States. We had more than 425 million MAUs who used Facebook mobile products in December 2011. We currently do not show ads or directly generate any meaningful revenue from users accessing Facebook through our mobile products, but we believe that we may have potential future monetization opportunities such as the inclusion of sponsored stories in users’ mobile News Feeds.
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