Remember how much mobile revenue Facebook generated in Q2 2012? Not one penny. Thirty months later, in its Q4 2014 result, Zuckerberg’s Curse delivered almost $US2.5 billion — 98 per cent of its total advertising take — on the phone. Stunning.
It was only a few short years ago, immediately prior to its IPO, that the Social Network’s prospectus revealed that the company lacked a mobile strategy, had no mobile revenue, and couldn’t really predict what it all meant for the business.
That’s about as clear an admission to the disruptive impact of digital technology as any company can make. But unlike many incumbents in other industries, Facebook simply embraced the idea that its best bet was to follow its consumers and adjust course. This year’s financial result of $US2.94 billion profits on revenues of $US12.47 billion demonstrates the genius of that simple and compelling idea.
In its report of the results, business intelligence site Statista notes that “When Facebook started selling mobile ads in 2012, not even the keenest optimists could have predicted how big a success they would be for the company. In each of the past seven quarters, mobile ads accounted for more than 90 per cent of Facebook’s revenue growth. In the past three months, mobile advertising sales amounted to almost $US2.5 billion. Having doubled since the previous year’s holiday quarter, mobile ad revenue now accounts for more than two thirds of Facebook’s advertising revenue and 64 per cent of total revenue.” According to the service, the speed of the shift mobile is simply astonishing.