The world’s giant in social networking service, Facebook, is launching mobile advertisements soon. This is an effort to tap into its more than 425 million user market worldwide, who log into Facebook from a mobile device. This figure represents more than half if the company’s worldwide users.
This is good news especially for businesses in Africa, whose mobile advertising industry is still lagging behind as compared to the other continents. This might be an answer to most of their problems, since most users in Africa access Internet via mobile phones. In addition to that, Facebook has over 37 million African users as of December 2011, therefore creating an easy and cheaper platform for accessing the large client base for their services.
The launch of this service could greatly increase the company’s annual income, especially just before its IPO, since at the moment the company does not place any advertisements on its mobile site. Facebook generated US$3.71-billion in revenue last year, 83% of which came from PC-based advertising. Currently, Facebook already controls 30% of the worldwide display advertising market.
“We do not currently directly generate any meaningful revenue from the use of Facebook mobile products, and our ability to do so successfully is unproven.” Facebook acknowledged in its submission to the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Mobile advertising globally is still in its infancy, and Facebook has realized that this could be the next big thing. In 2010, the global market for mobile advertising was estimated to be worth about US$1.5-billion. That number is expected to grow to US$17.6-billion by 2015.
Talking to HumanIPO, Ronald Muthiga, Managing Director at Aesthetics (Kenya) Limited said, “The main problem that could be slowing down its roll-out may be due to the screen size that the mobile site has to offer. Not many users will be happy to scroll through several adverts before getting to see their friend’s updates, photos etc as it is now.”
The mobile advertisements will be mainly accessible through smartphone and tablet applications.