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Summary:

Facebook’s “content discovery” referrals on mobile make it a bigger third-party browser than Chrome for iOS.

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photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News

Facebook’s decision a year ago to focus on mobile — which will be evident at tomorrow’s F8 conference in San Francisco – makes more sense when you see how much of an impact it has on the way users engage with content via their smartphones. According to a blog post from Quantcast, Facebook is responsible for more “content discovery” mobile referrals (i.e. referrals to news and other media) than any other social network combined.

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Studying the referral traffic to the top 250 news and entertainment publishers, Facebook represents 24 percent of those mobile referrals — more than three times that of Twitter and twelve times that of Pinterest. And, when users click on a link within Facebook’s app, they tend to stay there: Quantcast found that Facebook’s in-app browser, which pops up after clicking a third-party link, is responsible for 12 percent of iOS browsing. That figure makes it the leading third-party browser for iOS, and three times larger than Chrome for iOS.

Facebook’s mobile strategy has prioritized content consumption on-the-go. As a result, Facebook has crafted a recipe that not only allows users to engage with content they want to click on, but also serves that content without leaving the app.