By Jennifer LeClaire / CIO Today. Updated April 21, 2014.
Facebook has seen rapid growth in mobile advertising. So rapid, in fact, that the social media giant is reportedly getting ready to launch its own mobile advertising platform that would go head-to-head with Google’s AdMob.
The rumored move comes at a time when spending on mobile ads is soaring. Worldwide spending on mobile ads is expected to hit $31.5 billion in 2014, according to new figures from eMarketer. That's after a huge 2013, when global mobile ad spending spiked 105 percent to $17.96 billion.
In fact, eMarketer’s results reveal that mobile ad spending will make up nearly 25 percent of total digital ad spending worldwide. Of course, it’s not surprising that Facebook and Google are taking the lion’s share of those mobile ad dollars. But it seems Facebook is not content.
Facebook Wants More
With eMarketer predicting that mobile advertising revenue will rise even higher in 2014, Facebook may soon follow in the footsteps of Apple and Google to launch its own mobile ad network that taps into its deep database of member profiles to serve targeted ads.
News reports have Facebook making an official announcement at the F8 developer conference in San Francisco later in April. Facebook could not immediately be reached for comment. But a deeper look into Facebook’s current mobile ad success suggests developing its own mobile ad platform could be more than just a wild rumor.
Facebook revealed its fourth quarter 2013 earnings in January. The company generated $2.59 billion in revenue. At $1.25 billion, mobile ad dollars made up a strong 53 percent of that total.
Can Facebook Beat Google?
We caught up with Nipah Shah, founder of online marketing firm Jenysys Group, to find out if launching a mobile ad platform is the right move for Facebook. Shah told us it’s “absolutely a great opportunity” for the social network.
“The demographics they collect offer very targeted advertising opportunities. Facebook can take a bigger chunk of mobile ad revenue from Google for sure,” Shah said. “I already switched all my and my client advertising from Google to Facebook.”
Shah may not be the only one. Although many were skeptical about Facebook’s mobile prospects in the early days, eMarketer figures the rapid clip at which mobile has taken over the social media giant’s ad revenue share points to the company’s mobile future.
For example, in 2012 only 11 percent of Facebook’s net ad revenues worldwide came from mobile. What a difference a year makes. In 2013, that figure jumped to 45.1 percent, according to eMarketer.
Where does Facebook go from here on the mobile ad front? EMarketer estimates that mobile will account for 63.4 percent of Facebook’s net digital ad revenues in 2014. Meanwhile mobile accounted for 23.1 percent of Google’s net ad revenues worldwide in 2013, and eMarketer predicts its share will increase to 33.8 percent this year.