Facebook’s 2012 teaches us that mobile strategy is mandatory

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For those brave souls willing to dig through analyst calls and investor statements, a bounty of interesting tidbits awaits in Facebook’s 2012 financial results. The social networking behemoth clocked in at 5.089 billion in revenue, up substantially from the3.711 billion from 2011. More interesting for us marketers are these few tidbits.

  • Monthly active users (MAUs) were 1.06 billion as of December 31, 2012, an increase of 25% year-over-year
  • Daily active users (DAUs) were 618 million on average for December 2012, an increase of 28% year-over-year
  • Mobile MAUs were 680 million as of December 31, 2012, an increase of 57% year-over-year

If that doesn’t jump out loudly enough, Mark Zuckerberg had this to say:

“2012 was a big year for us. We made the big transition where now there are more people using Facebook on mobile everyday than on desktop.”

And finally, deep in the slide deck for the call comes this gem: in Q4 of 2012, 157 million of Facebook’s Monthly Active Users – about 15% – are mobile only.


15% of Facebook users are accessing the site from only a mobile device. That’s an absolutely stunning number. Here’s the big takeaway: if Facebook drives any amount of traffic to your web properties, and if that traffic is representative of the Facebook audience as a whole, then up to 15% of your inbound traffic from Facebook is on a mobile device exclusively, and more than half is coming from Facebook at least some of the time on a mobile device.

Your site, your properties, your content, your media must be mobile-ready if you interact with the Facebook audience at all. I did a quick look in my own analytics this morning.

Overview - Google Analytics

All mobile site traffic on my personal website clocked in at 17.35% for Q4 2012. But Facebook-sourced traffic?

Overview - Google Analytics

23.8%, which is a 37% increase. If I were to do a massive campaign or spend on Facebook, I’d need to know that making it mobile-friendly for that crowd was an imperative. Close to 1 in 4 visitors would be coming from Facebook on a mobile device.

Bottom line: If you’re marketing on Facebook, you’re marketing to a mobile-heavy crowd. Alter your strategy accordingly.

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4 responses to “Facebook’s 2012 teaches us that mobile strategy is mandatory”

  1. Thanks for sharing these amazing stats I keep telling people that mobile is blowing up that can’t be denied!

  2. I am very curious about these numbers as it relates to mobile apps. In terms of mobile traffic, are these numbers from Facebook’s Apps or the sum total of their mobile traffic from Browsers and Apps that use plugins or API calls. I suppose Facebook ‘sourced’ traffic covers that….still curious though.

  3. This is a great point, in regards to what kind of content you are sharing on Facebook. You have to assume that a large percentage of people are seeing your post on a mobile device. You don’t want them to click over to content that isn’t mobile friendly. It will ruin the experience and could hurt your brand reputation.

  4. This is a very important point to be considered by the marketers. Internet Mobile access is really increasing day by day. And it’s high time for marketers to ignore this platform.
    A good marketing strategy is all one needs here.

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