Facebook Now Controls Nearly One-Fifth Of U.S. Mobile Display Ad Revenue

Facebook has vaulted past its competitors to control 18.4 per cent of U.S. mobile display ad revenues. 

According to eMarketer, that means Facebook will end the year as the top U.S. publisher in mobile display, with roughly $340 million in revenue for all of 2012.

The chart below presents a visualisation of Facebook remarkable performance. The social network wasn’t in the picture in 2011. One year later, it has seized a fatter share of U.S. mobile display revenues than heavyweights such as Google, Pandora, and Apple’s iAd platform. In the process, a greater share of revenue has accrued to the top six publishers. 

However, Facebook’s accomplishment needs to be placed in context. First, mobile remains a blip in the total advertising landscape. And within mobile, display still accounts for less spend than search ads— 46 per cent to 49 per cent of U.S. mobile ad spending. (In other countries the picture is even more lopsided in favour of search.)

Finally, it’s early days yet for Facebook’s mobile ads, and there are no guarantees the company’s mobile ad formats will continue to succeed indefinitely. 

Caveats aside, Facebook’s surge shows that competitive dynamics can shift very quickly in mobile.

Click here for a larger version of this chart.