Facebook profits from mobile advertising

Watch: As Facebook reports a rise in mobile advertising revenue, analysts say Asia offers the firm plenty of room to grow further.

There have been doubts over Facebook’s ability to sell adverts on mobile devices, not least due to their small screen size. Investors had feared that its growth may be hurt as a result.

However, Facebook said 30% of its $1.25bn (£803m) advertising revenue in the first quarter came from mobile.

It reported a net profit of $219m for the January to March quarter.

“We’ve made a lot of progress in the first few months of the year,” said Facebook’s founder Mark Zuckerberg.

But increased spending on infrastructure, together with the fact the firm now employs more people than it did a year ago, contributed to a 60% jump in costs and expenses to $1.1bn in the quarter.

‘They are delivering’

Ever since its launch, Facebook has enjoyed tremendous growth and has gone on to dominate the social networking sector.

However, an increasing number of users are accessing the site on their mobile devices such as smartphones and tablet PCs.

The screens of these gadgets are much smaller compared with traditional PCs or laptops. That had led to concerns that Facebook may find it tough to sell advertising space on these and turn its online dominance into profits.

These concerns have hurt the firm’s share price ever since its high profile initial public offering (IPO) last year.

However, analysts said the latest numbers indicate that the firm is keeping up with changing patterns.

“They are making the transition to mobile faster than anyone anticipated,” said Arvind Bhatia, an analyst with Sterne Agee. “It seems like they are delivering.”

According to Facebook, it generated mobile advertising revenue of almost $375m, during the period, up from nearly $330m in the previous three months and approximately $150m in the three months to 30 September 2012.

‘In full force’

Facebook also reported an increase in users who access Facebook every day, these, on average, rose 8% from December to 655 million in March.

That had been another area of concern for investors, amid talk of so-called “Facebook fatigue” among users.

Analysts said the numbers indicated that the site continued to remain popular.

“The network remains in full force,” said Brian Blau, an analyst with Gartner. “You have to give them a lot of credit.”

                                     Facebook logo on Nasdaq board
Facebook now has 1.11 billion monthly active users

For its part, Facebook has taken various steps in recent months to make sure it keeps its dominant place in the sector.

It has overhauled its newsfeed and search feature, and launched Facebook Home, an app for Android phones.

The app, which effectively replaces the phone’s home screen with a Facebook feed and chat options, has received mixed reviews from users.

Some analysts said that the firm had managed to fend off competition in the sector.

“There is always going to be something new in social,” said Nate Elliot of Forrester Research.

“The question is how much of it is a threat to Facebook? All Facebook can do is keep those users coming back and make money off those users.

“And Facebook seems to be doing both of those things reasonably well.”

Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-22376553

Apple removes 4G iPad branding after complaints

Apple has removed the reference to 4G from the online description of the new iPad, following complaints to the advertising watchdog.

The new iPad was previously advertised by Apple as being available in WiFi and ‘WiFi + 4G’ versions. The Advertising Standards Agency said it had received complaints pointing out that Britain has no commercially-available 4G networks and that when it does the new iPad will not be able to connect to them anyway.

Apple has now changed the wording on its website to offer a ‘WiFi + Cellular’ iPad. Small print on the website notes that “this model can roam worldwide on fast mobile data networks”.

Apple has also changed the wording on its website in Australia, where there have also been complaints about the 4G claim, as well as in the USA, Canada, New Zealand and other countries.

In a statement, Apple said: “Carriers do not all refer to their high speed networks with the same terminology, therefore we’ve decided to use ‘WiFi + Cellular’ as a simple term which describes all the high speed networks supported by the new iPad.”

The company points out that the features of the new iPad have not changed.

The problem arose because the new iPad is compatible with LTE mobile broadband networks that are available in North America. Though LTE is not technically a 4G mobile standard, it is described as 4G by many of the networks that offer it. Because of that, Apple described its new iPad as 4G.

There are currently no commercially available 4G networks in Britain and those that are planned will operate on frequencies that are incompatible with Apple’s new iPad.

Britain has fallen behind the United States and European countries on the introduction of faster mobile internet. An auction of spectrum licences has suffered repeated delays and is mired in legal controversy.

Taken from: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/apple/9264860/Apple-removes-4G-iPad-branding-after-complaints.html

Mobile Advertising: 5 DIY Tips for Small Businesses

When it comes to digital advertising, small business owners (SMBs) must wade through a lot of industry jargon. Today, they have to make sense of words like SoLoMo, and tomorrow, they’ll be evaluating marketing options with terms such as InstaLikes.

The good news is that if SMBs can look beyond these buzzwords, there are a number of DIY digital advertising options that can help them get new customers and grow their businesses in the burgeoning mobile space. In fact, there are several self-serve ad platforms like Twitter that work with advertisers of all sizes. What’s common among these solutions is that they make it easy for SMBs to go mobile.

Going mobile makes sense now more than ever. According to a recent Borrell Associates Inc. survey, 48% of SMBs said they are “somewhat likely” or “very likely” to incorporate mobile into their advertising spending this year. Yet, navigating the self-service market can be tricky. Here are five tips on what to consider as you make that decision.

1. Go Local

Mobile advertising has opened up a unique opportunity for SMBs. It allows them to target by geo-location and reach people as they’re looking at what’s around them. Even better, advertisers can target customers by zip code, which is particularly useful considering that most purchases are made in the immediate vicinity of one’s home or office. So, when evaluating advertising options, small businesses should choose solutions that allow them to target customers by a location size that is most relevant to their business.

2. Think Beyond the Click

In the online world, Google AdWords has proven to be wildly successful for advertisers. Google launched AdWords so that businesses could pay only for clicks and also create, manage, and optimize campaigns themselves. While there’s no reason the mobile ad industry can’t have its own AdWords, it’s important to note that clicks don’t necessarily work in a mobile world.

A recent Harris Interactive survey proved nearly half of mobile users clicked on a mobile ad by mistake, meaning nearly half of mobile advertising dollars are wasted. In other words, when advertising on mobile, SMBs should be wary of solutions that charge on a cost-per-click basis.

3. Advertise in Mobile Apps

According to Flurry data published earlier this year, time spent on mobile apps is growing, with people spending more than an hour and half per day using them. Meanwhile, they’re spending less time on the mobile web. This data shows that people are becoming more and more engaged with apps. Couple that with a projection by IDC that more than 76.9 billion apps will be downloaded by 2014, and the message is simple: when thinking mobile advertising, think mobile apps.

4. Engage People with Relevant Deals

According to another Harris Interactive survey, almost two-thirds of mobile app users prefer mobile ads that contain coupons, deals, or newsletters over commercial and video ads. So SMBs should try performance-branding solutions that engage people with deals and coupons. For the most impact, ads should also include a strong call to action and stress exclusivity.

5. Integrate Across Various Online Platforms

People use mobile devices to interact with apps, read their emails, and engage with social media sites. This means SMBs should find one tool to engage people and follow-up with activities, such as email marketing, which can help drive in-store purchases, promote online sales, and increase their social footprint.

Taken from: http://mashable.com/2012/04/20/diy-mobile-advertising-tips-smbs/