This week has been a week of earnings reports from key tech firms – notably Twitter and Facebook. The former told a difficult story in parts, with slowing Twitter user growth and recent product developments not yet rectifying this. For Facebook, there was also some challenging news. Wall Street reacted negatively to increased expenses in Q2 2015, and daily active user numbers that were just short of target. But digging into the numbers in Facebook’s report, the interesting story is the shift to mobile for both users and advertisers.
Q2 2015 saw Facebook’s monthly active users rise to 1.49 billion globally – a 13% year-on-year increase. This continued the trend of Facebook’s strong user growth – albeit at a slower rate than in previous years. But if you compare this with people using Facebook on mobile, growth has been much higher (at 23% year-on-year). Now 1.07 billion people are accessing Facebook on their mobile every month – 88% of all Facebook users. Mobile continues to be a significant part of the Facebook experience for a significant number of its users.
But dig a little deeper and we can see an even more mobile-centric picture emerging. The real growth story for Q2 2015 is the number of people who are choosing to only access Facebook on their mobile. Every month, 655 million users access Facebook exclusively on their mobile phone – a full 44% of all users. These people are not using the desktop site at all. And their number is growing with year-on-year increases of 64%. This is reflected in their revenues too. Of the $3.8 billion in ad revenues in Q2 2015, 76% were for mobile ads.
And this is why mobile is and should be the focus for Facebook, and for brands and agencies looking to engage their audiences and advertise on the platform. Facebook is increasingly less mobile-first and more mobile-only.