Facebook begins the inevitable mobile ad assault

It didn’t take long after the IPO for Facebook to make a fresh announcement about plans for developing revenue generation – and it is the move into mobile advertising.

Despite Mark Zuckerberg being described as having, “an evangelical approach to advertising,” and seeing the Facebook platform as, “a vehicle to open up communication, not to monetize”, there is no doubt that things have to change now the shareholders have more of a say. Let’s not forget, however, the billionaire does still own over 25% of the company and more than 50% of the voting power.

US based Nanigans, a firm that specialises in the Facebook Ads API and served over 175 billion ad impressions in 2011, released new data confirming a year-on-year jump in Ad spend over the Christmas period.

Nanigans also reported a 1,600% growth in Facebook Ad spend over the past year. Whilst this figure is not representative of Ad spend across the platform as a whole, there is still a compelling story to be told (feel free to Tweet these);

Facebook ad revenues grew from $738 million in 2009 to an estimated $3.8 billion in 2011

Facebook ad budgets grew 109% between the 3rd and 4th quarter of 2011. This is compared with just 27% growth in paid search spend in the same period

The number of view of Facebook Ads grew 47% in the last quarter of 2011

Click rates have risen 27% since the move to GraphEdge through more effective targeting

Come March, Facebook will introduce ‘featured stories’ into users’ mobile news feed as the first step on the mobile advertising ladder. With all of this in mind, and with Facebook’s growing number of mobile users, (currently at around 425 million), don’t be surprised if we are looking at some exponential growth over the next couple of years from the platform’s mobile Ad revenues.

Especially as there is no mobile advertising platform…yet…

Research from Kenshoo Social, eMarketer Inc and Nanigans

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