EMarketer: Facebook US mobile ad revenue soaring

EMarketer: Facebook US mobile ad revenue soaring

Credit: AFP/Getty Images

A view of and Apple iPhone displaying the Facebook app's splash screen May 10, 2012 in Washington, DC. Social-networking giant Facebook will go public on the NASDAQ May 18 with its initial public offering, trading under the symbol FB, in an effort to raise $10.6 billion. (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/GettyImages)

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KMOV.com

Posted on April 4, 2013 at 8:08 AM

Updated Thursday, Apr 4 at 8:20 AM

NEW YORK (AP) -- A research firm says it expects Facebook's mobile ad revenue to soar this year, hitting nearly $1 billion a year after the company started to splice ads into its users' mobile phones and tablet computers.

   Wednesday's forecast comes a day before Facebook holds an event to unveil a new Android product. Speculation has centered on a mobile phone, made by HTC Corp., that deeply integrates Facebook into the Android operating system. The move comes as Facebook works to evolve from its Web-based roots to a "mobile-first" company, as its mantra goes.

   EMarketer said it expects Facebook Inc. to reap $965 million in U.S. mobile ad revenue in 2013. That's about 2.5 times the $391 million in 2012, the first year that Facebook started showing mobile ads.

   "There are some clear reasons why a deeper integration with mobile operating systems and handsets makes sense for Facebook," said Clark Fredricksen, vice president at eMarketer. "At the end of the day, the more deeply Facebook can engage consumers, no matter what device or operating system or handset," the better.

   Facebook's rival, Google Inc., makes the Android software that Facebook and HTC would be using under the scenario widely speculated. Google makes the software available on an open-source basis, meaning others including rivals are free to adapt it for their needs. Amazon.com Inc. does just that in modifying Android to run its Kindle tablet computers.

   Facebook is No. 2 behind Google when it comes to mobile advertisements in the U.S., and it isn't expected to surpass the online search leader any time soon. Google dominates the mobile search market with 93 percent of U.S. mobile search advertising dollars, according to eMarketer. Online music service Pandora Inc. is third in mobile ad dollars, followed by Twitter.

   More than half of Facebook's 1.06 billion monthly users access it on a mobile device.

   Facebook's event Thursday is at its Menlo Park, Calif., headquarters.

   Shares of Facebook rose 83 cents, or 3.3 percent, to close Wednesday at $26.25. The stock is down about 1 percent since the start of the year.
 

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