Everyone’s announcing quarter results and with social networks, it’s mostly the user base and earnings that are hogging all the attention. Some are doing well, some not so well. LinkedIn tanked big time after on its earnings forecast and then plunged further after posting quarter results that weren’t so satisfactory.
But amid all that hullabaloo about earnings and revenues, there is a very important metric that hasn’t probably received the amount of attention that it should have. Unlike LinkedIn and Twitter, Facebook’s stock soared after the social network posted its 2015 fourth quarter results in January. You already know Facebook has more than a billion users on its network and its revenue source is primarily advertising. But in its fourth-quarter results, Facebook revealed that “Mobile advertising revenue represented approximately 80% of advertising revenue for the fourth quarter of 2015, up from 69% of advertising revenue in the fourth quarter of 2014.” The number has huge implications for marketers and brands who are looking to use Facebook as a platform to advertise and reach out to their customers. Let’s look at the absolute numbers. According to Facebook’s fourth quarter results, Facebook’s advertising revenue was USD 5.64 billion, which itself sharply rose by 51.7%. So, 80% of that entire advertising revenue is USD 4.51 billion. This is an inspirational number. Facebook generated USD 4.51 billion in advertising revenues just from its mobile app. The actual Web version might as well be redundant but it’s still bringing in about a billion dollars so they’ll keep it running.
The numbers are great and stock is soaring. So, even if you aren’t a Facebook investor, there’s something to cheer for and something to learn about what really matters in today’s tech space. Mobile. A study conducted by call intelligence firm Invoca found that 74% customers are very likely to switch to another business if the mobile experience is poor. Not just that, in even more encouraging findings, about 14% respondents were happy with their personal information being sought if it is used to improve the mobile experience.
These are monumental figures and though it is still sidelined by many businesses, the rise of the mobile will be seminal to how brands market themselves and communicate with their customers. As mobile becomes even more important to the point that Facebook generates 95% of its advertising revenues from mobile platforms, there will be two things that will be pivotal to success: One, providing a unified customer experience through customer identity management. Second, providing a satisfying mobile experience that trumps the desktop experience. Already, there are businesses which have a mobile only customer transaction interface. This could be the future of business on the Web whereby online transactions are only carried through mobile while desktop sites merely serve a superficial purpose. Mobile will be the driver of the Internet of Things and desktop computers’ role is likely to be vastly limited. With such a future predicted, it is imperative that businesses start acting on their mobile front and focus their energies to providing a better mobile experience. Even if it isn’t a purely B2C e-commerce kind of business, customers search for what they want on the mobile first. So, it is likely that the first landing would be through mobile and businesses should get their act together and be optimized for it.