Mobile Drives A Huge Fourth Quarter For Facebook In Revenue And User Growth

Facebook fourth quarter and full-year earnings are out. The social network finished the year with strong numbers, thanks in large part to its impressive performance on mobile.

  • Fourth quarter ad revenue reached $US2.34 billion, which is 76% growth over the same quarter the previous year. Mobile ad revenue jumped 306% to reach over $US1.25 billion.
  • Mobile now makes up 53% of Facebook’s total $US2.34 billion in ad revenue. In the fourth quarter of 2013, it had only made up 23% of Facebook’s ad revenue.
  • Facebook had 1.23 billion monthly active users (MAUs) in the fourth quarter, with 945 million accessing Facebook via mobile, and 296 million MAUs who are mobile-only users. Mobile-only users now make up 24% of Facebook’s total MAUs.
  • User growth has slowed down a bit, particularly on desktop. Total MAUs grew 16% year-over-year, while mobile users are up 39% and mobile-only users are up an impressive 89%.

Total users are also up about 3% sequentially from the previous quarter. Barring any spectacular user growth on YouTube from last quarter (which at BI Intelligence, we define as a social network), we can comfortably say that with over 1.23 billion active users, Facebook will retain its title as the “world’s largest social network.”

After third quarter results were released, we predicted that the fourth quarter of 2013 would be the tipping point for Facebook’s business, when the majority of its ad revenue would be generated via mobile.

Facebook had just missed the 50% threshold in the third quarter, when mobile brought in 49% of total ad revenue.

Mobile, including mobile app install ads, now represents 53%, or $US1.25 billion, of Facebook’s quarterly advertising revenues. For comparison, Facebook brought in only 23% of its total ad revenue (or $US306 million) from mobile ads in the fourth quarter a year prior.

As CEO Mark Zuckerberg said on the earnings call, ” … 2013 was the year when we turned our business into a mobile business.”

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