On February 1, 2012 Facebook filed for its initial public offering. In the aftermath, people have questioned what the IPO will mean for Facebook users and advertisers, with the most significant issue concerning how Facebook will capitalize on its mobile market. Facebook recently reported that 425 million (more than half) of its monthly users are accessing the site from mobile devices. However, they have not yet begun monetizing their mobile market. Industry experts have expressed concern over this lack of utilization of mobile possibilities, as it is a significant risk factor for the Facebook IPO. As mobile usage continues to grow, it will become essential for Facebook to develop a way to monetize its mobile platform.
Consumers are increasingly using mobile devices to access Facebook and other social media sites. Mobile use has even crept into football: according to Google, “41% of Super Bowl ad searches during the game were made from mobile devices.” Google also published a statistic saying that “62% of all US-based national chain restaurant queries came from mobile devices on Valentine’s Day.” These stats speak to the rising popularity of mobile web usage and the importance of having a presence in the mobile realm. The reason many are concerned with Facebook’s lack of a mobile advertising strategy is because advertisers cannot access the mobile platform and thereby reach the significant portion of Facebook users that are active on mobile devices. According to MediaPost, “the domestic mobile ad market is an estimated $2 billion and social networks are serious contenders for mobile advertising and commerce dollars.”
The size and potential of the mobile ad market is too big for Facebook to ignore and it will be interesting to see what types of partnerships, growth and new forms of advertising Facebook will roll out within these next few months. We’ll be sure to keep you updated as changes to the advertising platform are announced.