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Facebook fights back

In the wake of its share price decline, Facebook is making a big play for monetising the mobile content market

After all the hoopla surrounding Facebook’s stock market float there has been a fair amount of schadenfreude displayed in the mainstream media as the company’s share price has steadily declined in the subsequent weeks and months.

But clearly, Facebook is not about to take the (relative) decline of its fortunes lying down and is now redoubling its efforts to monetise its mobile offerings.

Mark Zuckerberg is on the record as saying, ‘People who use our mobile services are more active Facebook users than people who only use our desktop services. On average, mobile users are around 20 per cent more likely to use Facebook on any given day.’ So it comes as no surprise that the social media giant should want to cash in on that.

Advertising as content is the key

Considering Facebook is essentially an advertising-funded business, its first move makes perfect sense. Flagging the forthcoming changes in its Developer Blog, the company says: ‘Facebook has increasingly become a way for iOS and Android developers to grow their apps. In the past 30 days, we have sent people to the Apple App Store and Google Play 146 million times, via clicks from channels such as news feed, timeline, bookmarks and App Center.’

Now, though, it is going to allow app developers to advertise their products on its members’ mobile-device news feeds. In other words, rather than cutting itself out as the middle man (people may hear of an app on Facebook, but go elsewhere to get it), they are wanting to monetise the information by charging a fee for every time a user clicks on the adds to download the software from elsewhere.

Currently in beta testing phase, Facebook clearly needs to overcome the issue of space – or lack of it – on mobile devices. But given by Facebook’s own reckoning there were 543 million active smartphone/tablet users at the end of June, the potential for both increasing income and improving the share price is huge.

 

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