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Summary:

Facebook might have been a slow starter on mobile, but aggressive growth in mobile usage has helped the company boost its share of the mobile advertising pie, and in the process it has become the second largest digital ad platform — behind Google.

Facebook mobile games publishing platform

Facebook will nearly triple its share of global mobile advertising in 2013 compared to 2012, according to research firm eMarketer. They forecast that Facebook will have about 15.8 percent of the total global ad market, ahead of Pandora, Twitter and others. Google, however, is still the big kahuna with 53.17 percent of the overall market, up from 2012. The overall mobile ad market is forecast at $16.65 billion — up 89 percent from 2012.

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Facebook, which has been focusing almost all its energies on mobile over the past year or so, has started to inject more and more advertising into its stream — a move not welcomed by consumers — and has started attracting big spending advertisers. Facebook’s success on mobile and aggressive injection of advertising has helped it become the company with the second largest ad-market share across all devices, behind Google of course.

The news shouldn’t come as a surprise — Facebook’s share of mobile users’ attention has been on an upswing. U.S. smartphone owners spend about 18 percent of their phone time on Facebook.  The company gets more usage on mobile devices than on the web, a fact that was reflected in the blockbuster financial results reported by Facebook for the three months ending June 30, 2013. During the quarter the company said that nearly 41 percent of its revenues come from mobile. Well, the news for Facebook fans keeps getting better. eMarketer has been impressed by Facebook’s advertising push and now expects that the company will make about $6.36 billion in 2013 (up from eMarketer’s earlier forecast of $5.89 billion).

162589Here are some other interesting tidbits from the new eMarketer report.

  • Amazon is expected to see global ad revenues of around $840 million this year.
  • Microsoft will bring in about $2.92 billion in ad revenues for 2013.
  • Pandora and Twitter will bring in total revenues of $580 million each during 2013.
  • In 2013, 18.8 percent of all digital ad spending in North America will go toward mobile internet ads.
  • By 2017, nearly half of all digital ad spending in North America will be on the mobile internet.
  • Western Europe and Asia-Pacific are nearly tied this year, with 12.6 percent and 12.3 percent of all digital spending occurring on mobile, respectively.
  • In 2017, eMarketer estimates advertisers around the world will spend $616.3 billion on all paid media.
  1. I still fail to see how Facebook achieved any “innovation” in mobile advertising. They basically followed in the footsteps of Airpush, Millennial Media, Tapjoy and a few others that really understand relevance and creativity in mobile advertising. I haven’t seen anything truly original out of Facebook yet, which why I maintain that mobile ad networks are always going to be superior to social networks for mobile advertising.

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  2. These are some pretty impressive spending stats – but will they result in any impressive profits? Mobile and digital ads are clearly the popular trend these days, and Facebook getting on board is no surprise, but these kind of heavy investments may not in reality be the best use of a marketer’s budget. Just because we spend a lot of time on our smartphones, and on Facebook in particular, does not automatically mean the ads we see there will in fact translate to conversions. Companies need to track the impact of these advertising channels in relation to other mediums in order to get a comprehensive understanding of which pieces of their campaign strategy are really driving results.

    Jeff Zwelling,
    CEO and co-founder of Convertro

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