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Facebook Mobile Platform Growth

The rise of smartphones and adoption by consumers is one, which has been extremely quick. Television took 30 years to reach main penetration of households. The web and desktop computer (which are hand- in hand in terms of household uptake) took around 10 years. Smartphones? Something like three years or so.

Canadian smartphone ownership, according to a 2013 Google report, is estimated to be at 56% of adults, rising from 33% only 12 months prior.

Looking back at one of the most popular apps or services that I have used in the past five years, Facebook would be it, hands down.

The first time I used Facebook, it was on a Motorola Razr. This was a feature-phone which allowed me to browse the web and login through the simple browser to access Facebook. This I rarely did because of the long process to login each time, using a typical phone button interface. Once I got a smartphone – in my case in 2010 that was an iPhone, it allowed easier access. With the Facebook app, the use became even easier and second nature to me.

So then, what is some of the impact of the use of smartphones with regards to the use of Facebook?

The Facebook Q3 2013 Investor Summary Report  stated some interesting facts in it’s operational highlights:

  • Daily active users (DAUs) were 728 million on average for September 2013, an increase of 25% year-over-year.
  • Monthly active users (MAUs) were 1.19 billion as of September 30, 2013, an increase of 18% year-over-year.
  • Mobile MAUs were 874 million as of September 30, 2013, an increase of 45% year-over-year.
  • Mobile DAUs were 507 million on average for September 2013.

Look at the relation from total users to total mobile users. Those are some big gains in use and a large percentage of those who use mobile on a regular basis.

Most of us are used to advertising on the desktop browser with respect to Facebook. But advertising on the mobile interface? Not so much. So how as one who works to extend reach through Facebook advertising to the growing user base on mobile, can one do so? This is going to paramount if you use Facebook as an advertising channel.

Facebook has a solution, but in my opinion it falls short. Basically it is similar to making a page app and then getting folks to install that app into your Facebook app

You can now get your mobile app ad for installs up and running very easily by copying and pasting your app’s Google Play or Apple App Store URL into the Ads Create Tool. If you’re new to developing on Facebook, this is a quick and easy way to get started without having to register your app with Facebook. Read our simple steps under Get Started Running Mobile App Ads for Installs, and then go to our Ads Create Tool to get started.Facebook Developers


This of course means that if it is a sponsored app then it cannot be the same as a text ad with a small photo, but more like that used with the page apps. This means it has to be rich, engaging and one which is going to be of benefit, otherwise it will fail in adoption. There is a distinct difference between mobile ads and browser ads for Facebook.

Think of your mobile ad stream differently from the browser stream. Mobile use is also different, so are you going to give them an app that will be of use to them, but create entanglement with your messaging and brand?

Think about targeting – mobile data, wifi or both for targeting. Geo-targeting and demographic targeting as well are important. Not all endevours may favour this new channel opportunity, but many will. Be careful to know the target, which you are trying to reach and understand if this is suitable. A flower shop during Valentines Day or Easter might work, but what of the other times of year? Can it give more input such as arrangement suggestions, or online ordering?

This is a very young channel on a very young device with a still to be adopted attitude with respect to advertising acceptance. Be patient and by all means study, plan and then decide on execution. Chances are that the current solution for mobile advertising is not really suited to you unless you have an app in a store you want to advertise.

For the rest of us, we will have to continue to rely on desktop browsers for our traditional ad placements with Facebook.