Facebook Finally Brings Ads To Mobile Devices
For the first time, Facebook is making it possible for advertisers to reach the site’s enormous base of mobile users.
Speaking today at Facebook’s first fMC marketing event, Mike Hoefflinger, Director of Global Business Marketing, announced that Premium Ads and Sponsored Stories now include distribution on mobile devices. They’ll also show for the first time on the Facebook log-out page.
It’s the first time Facebook advertisers can reach the company’s 425 million monthly mobile users — and the first time that Facebook will begin to monetize the mobile channel.
Hoefflinger introduced the concept of stories-as-ads, which was hinted at earlier this month when a Facebook slide deck for advertisers leaked online. Advertisers can now distribute their stories/ads into several channels — from (left to right on image below) posting on their company Facebook Page, to user home pages, to user news feeds, in the news feed on mobile devices and — starting in April — as part of the logout experience.
According to Hoefflinger, Facebook’s internal testing on the new ad distribution into mobile news feeds and the log-out page led to a 5-10x increase in click-thru rates.
“We are evolving from ads to stories. Ads are good, but stories are better,” Hoefflinger said.
Earlier in his presentation, Hoefflinger also introduced the new Timeline for Pages that we wrote about earlier here on Marketing Land. He also mentioned that Timeline for Pages will arrive “later this year” on mobile devices.
In its S-1 filing earlier this month, Facebook announced that it has a whopping 425 million monthly mobile users. But the company has yet to monetize that audience in any way — until now. The S-1 actually hinted at today’s announcement:
We currently do not show ads or directly generate any meaningful revenue from users accessing Facebook through our mobile products, but we believe that we may have potential future monetization opportunities such as the inclusion of sponsored stories in users’ mobile News Feeds.
Generating revenue from mobile is a must as Facebook prepares for its IPO. Despite the lack of mobile advertising to date, the company’s revenues reached $3.71 billion at the end of 2011 — about five times its 2009 revenue.
The fMC event will continue for a couple more hours today and is currently streaming live online.