Facebook (s fb) is likely to announce its own interpretation of Android tomorrow, perhaps in partnership with HTC. This will be company’s first full-scale assault on the mobile business, a move that is being watched with much interest in the executives offices of Google, (s goog) Apple (s aapl) and Twitter. But even without, the company seems to be doing quite well on the mobile — relatively, speaking.
For instance, Flurry Analytics pointed out Wednesday in a new release that in the U.S., smartphone users spend 18 percent of their time spent on smartphones on Facebook. And what’s more important, Facebook tends to keep the Facebook Mobile users inside the app, instead of sending them out to other apps or browsers. As Flurry noted:
…it appears that mobile, once perceived as Facebook’s Achilles’ heel, has become Facebook’s biggest opportunity. Consumers are spending an average of nearly 30 minutes per day on Facebook. Add to that Facebook’s massive reach, as well as their roughly billion mobile users per month and you have a sizable mobile black hole sucking up peoples’ time. The 30 minutes a day is a worldwide average which means a large group spends even more time on Facebook (possibly hours) watching and participating in what has become the ultimate reality show in which the actors are you and your friends.
Well, that does translate into big dollars for the company. According to market research firm eMarketer, Facebook is likely to bring in about $965 million in mobile advertising in 2013 and will see that number grow to $1.51 billion in 2014.
Facebook, the No. 2 mobile ad publisher in the country, accounted for 9.5% of mobile ad revenues in 2012 and is expected to take 13.2% this year. In the mobile display market, however, Facebook is on top, projected to grab nearly three in 10 dollars this year. eMarketer revised Facebook’s share of US mobile display advertising ad revenue upward by several percentage points after fourth quarter results came in higher than previously expected.
Now here is the problem: if folks are spending so much time on mobile already and all they can make is a billion dollars, how does the company start to goose up the overall revenues and justify its massive market capitalization? Any thoughts?
Related piece: A Facebook Phone: Is this the final brick in the social network’s walled garden?