Zuckerberg: 'Mobile is the most misunderstood aspect of Facebook'

Facebook's CEO tells analysts that the company could monetize itself better through mobile devices over the desktop.
Written by Rachel King, Contributor

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg continued to press his mobile agenda during the social network's second conference call with analysts and investors on Tuesday.

Zuckerberg revealed his mobile interests rather earnestly during TechCrunch Disrupt in San Francisco last month, lambasting HTML5 in favor of native apps for smartphones and tablets.

At the time, Zuckerberg remarked that more users on mobile means that Facebook can make a lot more money through mobile over desktop.

The mobile rhetoric also had the benefit of deflecting some of the strong criticisms from analysts following the social network's poor public debut on the Nasdaq this summer.

Nevertheless, Zuckerberg reiterated the role that mobile could play for the company's overall revenue, asserting that "mobile is the most misunderstood aspect of Facebook."

Zuckerberg continued:

Most people underestimate how fundamentally good the trend towards mobile can be for Facebook. This is because there are three trends that are kind of compounded together.

First, mobile would give us the opportunity to reach way more people than desktop. Second, people on mobile use Facebook more often. And third, long-term I think we're going to monetize better per amount of time spent on mobile than desktop.

All of these combined together make mobile in much larger opportunity for us then I think most people realize.

To back this up, Facebook executives added the following numbers throughout the call:

  • There are more than 1 billion people worldwide on Facebook, including 600 million on mobile.
  • Zuckerberg said that Facebook is "the most widely downloaded app on basically every smartphone platform,  so we are well-positioned to reach the growing smartphone population."
  • Someone who uses mobile has a 70 percent likelihood of using Facebook on a given day compared to a 40 percent rate on a desktop.
  • Q3 news feed ad revenue averaged more than $4 million a day, with about three-quarters of that coming from the mobile feed.

Zuckerberg posited that one of the keys to understanding how to make sense of mobile going forward -- especially from an advertising standpoint -- is to compare mobile more to TV. He described that means high-quality ads that are baked into the mobile experience.

More earnings coverage around ZDNet on Tuesday:

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