More people now connect to Facebook via their mobile phones than they do their PCs, with new figures showing that mobile daily active users outweighed web daily active users for the first time in last year’s fourth quarter.
Facebook today released its results for Q4 2012, which also revealed the social network reached 1.056 billion users in the three months to December – a 25% year-on-year increase from Q4 in 2011.
The social network continues to see its largest increase in Asia as it gains traction in Japan and other countries.
Daily active users grew to 618 million – a 34 million increase from last quarter, the majority of them from mobile phones.
According to Facebook, 680 million of its monthly active users use mobile devices (either instead of, or in addition to computer access). This is a 248 million increase since Q4 in 2011, resulting in a 57% increase year-on-year.
Around 157 million of those monthly active users are mobile only – a 107.69% increase year-on-year.
Eden Zoller, principal analyst at Ovum, said the results gave “cause for optimism and suggest the company is on the right track following its disappointing IPO and the lacklustre two quarters that immediately followed.”
Last year Facebook was hit by claims its advertising platforms were ineffective. In March, US client General Motors pulled its $10m worth of Facebook advertising, publicly stating that advertising on the social network did not pay off. Automaker Kia also voiced its concern about the worth of spending money with Facebook.
But, according to Zoller, mobile is helping boost advertisers’ interest in the social network.
“What stands out from Facebook’s Q4 results is the centrality of mobile for its service strategy and growth. Revenues from mobile advertising accounted for 23% of total advertising revenues compared to 14% in the previous quarter, with sponsored stories in the mobile news feed and app install ads proving effective,” Zoller said.
“ This solid progress on the mobile advertising front should be applauded as a key challenge for Facebook which has been how to monetise its growing mobile user base, particularly as an increasing number interact with the platform by only via mobile devices.”
Facebook has also noted that the recently launched Graph Search would be a pillar for future growth, although it did not elaborate.
“There will be growing pressure for Facebook to monetize Graph Search over the coming quarters and the most obvious way it could do so is via sponsored search,” Zoller said.
The network was also tight-lipped on the topic of Facebook gifts, games and Instagram’s contribution to future growth.
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