Facebook asserts its success on mobile with another strong quarter

About 53 per cent of the company's ad sales came from mobile devices

Facebook's financial results from Q4 '12 to Q4 '13
Facebook's financial results from Q4 '12 to Q4 '13

More than half of Facebook's ad sales came from mobile devices in the fourth quarter, showing continued strength in the site's ability to monetize its service on smaller screens.

Total revenue for the quarter ended December 31 was $US2.59 billion, a 63 per cent increase from the same period the previous year, the company reported. Facebook's sales beat analysts' expectations of $US2.33 billion, as polled by Thomson Reuters.

Net income for the social media company was $US523 million, a more than 700 per cent increase from the fourth quarter in 2012. Earnings per share was $US0.20. Excluding share-based compensation expenses and related payroll tax expenses and adjustments, earnings per share was $US0.31, topping analyst expectations of $US0.27.

Facebook generated sales of $US2.34 billion from advertising, a 76 percent increase from the previous year. Of its total ad sales, 53 per cent came from ads placed on mobile devices, the company reported. During the same period in 2012, only 23 per cent of the company's advertising revenue was derived from mobile.

"It was a great end to the year for Facebook," CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a statement.

Facebook makes the majority of its money from advertising and the company has been pressured to raise its ad revenues specifically on mobile devices as more people migrate away from desktop PCs in favor of devices like smartphones and tablets.

Over the past year, Facebook has made considerable progress in chasing mobile ad dollars. In the previous quarter Facebook said roughly 49 percent of its ad sales came from mobile; Wednesday's results mark the first time the company has crossed the 50 percent mark.

The company has several different products for monetizing on mobile, including mobile app install ads, which direct users out of Facebook and into Apple or Google's app stores.

One potential issue hanging over Facebook's business is the extent to which young people -- teens specifically -- might be growing tired of it. During the company's previous earnings call in October, executives reported that Facebook was seeing a decline in the number of daily users among younger teenagers. The concern is that while younger people may not be leaving Facebook outright in droves, they could prefer rival services like Snapchat or Twitter for certain activities. Such a scenario could weaken Facebook's ability to attract advertisers.

Facebook did not address that issue in its announcement, though it is likely to face questions on the matter later in the day when Zuckerberg and other executives take questions from investors and financial analysts. Facebook could also be asked to clarify which types of ad products specifically on mobile helped to generate the bulk of its revenue there and whether the gains came from more ads, or improved ads.

The company did grow its monthly active users overall by 16 per cent to 1.23 billion. The company also grew its daily active users by 22 per cent, but it did not break them down by age.

For the full year, Facebook's revenue was $US7.87 billion, a 55 per cent increase from its sales in 2012.

Zach Miners covers social networking, search and general technology news for IDG News Service. Follow Zach on Twitter at @zachminers. Zach's e-mail address is zach_miners@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Blog Posts

How can a brand remain human in a digital world?

Some commentators estimate that by 2020, 85 per cent of buyer-seller interactions will happen online through social media and video*. That’s only two years away, and pertinent for any marketer.

James Kyd

Global head of brand strategy and marketing, Xero

​Relevance and substance are the keys to marketing’s future

Marketing’s evolution and increased value-add to organisations is making headway in one essential direction: Driving brands to achieve maximum relevance in the heart and minds of customers.

Jean-Luc Ambrosi

Author, marketer

Why doing your job well is the key to innovation

The words ‘power company’ and ‘innovation’ probably don’t seem like a natural combination. In fact, when I first went for a marketing role with an electricity company, I semi-dreaded the work I thought I’d be doing.

Catherine Anderson

Head of marketing, Powershop Australia

Lok knocks it out the park and predicts the future...“People are starting to understand they own their own data, and this will come to a ...


Data regulation key to marketing innovation

Read more

It needs to come from the top. It's not just about buy-in from the leadership team, leadership should be part of the development process ...

Stephen Houraghan

Why getting intimate is key to creating a great customer experience and optimising customer value

Read more

When was this article posted?


Report Reveals the Channels That Really Influence Consumer Purchase Decisions

Read more

sorry, I did not see that my first attempt already posted.


5 ways Australian Unity is driving innovation

Read more

Examples of their "innovation":https://www.accc.gov.au/pub...https://www.accc.gov.au/med...I have had problems with them in their "innova...


5 ways Australian Unity is driving innovation

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in