Facebook is doing amazingly well in the transition from desktop computers to mobile devices.
Some statistics from RBC analyst Mark Mahaney offer a glimpse.
In his Q4 2014 earnings preview, Mahaney makes the following points:
- More mobile users. Through October and November, Facebook was averaging about 143 million monthly unique visitors in the U.S. That’s up 30% from last year, according to ComScore. That’s a slight deceleration from 35% growth in Q3, but…
- They’re spending more time. Mobile users are spending more time on Facebook: an average of 1079 minutes (almost 18 hours) per month, versus 924 minutes (about 15 and a half hours) per month a year ago.
- Which means way more mobile ad revenue. Mahaney expects Facebook’s mobile ad revenue for Q4 to be up “only” 89% from a year ago, to $US2.3 billion. He puts “only” in quotes because it was up 120% year-over-year in Q3, but that level of astounding growth will naturally slow down as Facebook’s mobile ad business matures. Most amazingly, Facebook had $US0 in mobile ad revenue at the beginning of 2012. Now, mobile is about 2/3rds of its revenue.
He also thinks the worries about teens spending less time on Facebook are overblown, since overall engagement numbers continue to rise. As he points out, Facebook’s user base is now 1.35 billion, larger than the population of China, which means that its 14% overall user growth rate is still “impressive” in his view.