Facebook – Profiting from mobile data

Facebook has been using big data in a number of ways to boost not only customer value but growth for advertisers. Consider the assets the social media giant has at its disposal:

  • 2.5 billion shares of content
  • 2.7 billion ‘Likes’ every day
  • 500 terabytes of data captured every day
A strategy to commercialise mobile data

Facebook is making business even
better through the use of mobile data. According to a release, the social media company’s revenue for its first quarter
in 2014 (January to March) was up 72% (from the same
period in 2013) to $2.5 billion. Of this, revenue from advertising contributed $2.27 billion and mobile advertising revenue represented approximately 59% of advertising
revenue for the first quarter of 2014.

Taking advantage of the mass mobile migration, pundits have posed that Facebook’s strategy to expand its offering in this area, will be done through ‘unbundling’ and distributing its core features in new mobile products separate to its main platform. For example the social media company announced the launch of its Paper app in February 2014, which provides curated content from users feeds in a digital newspaper format – following on from the successful ‘unbundling’ of it’s messaging functionality, into the Messenger app.

For the user increased utility on the move and a good customer experience will speak volumes to uptake and ongoing use. For the company this ‘uncoupling’ and growth of a suite of apps, will enable it to gather increased amounts of mobile data and offer potential advertisers additional opportunities to better target users.

This was eluded to by Facebook’s Analytics Head, Ken Rudin, in an interview in 2013 with The Wall Street Journal CIO journal, where he indicated that, ‘The social network may start collecting data on minute user interactions with its content, such as how long a user’s cursor hovers over a certain part of its website, or whether a user’s newsfeed is visible at a given moment on the screen of his or her mobile phone.’ Mr Rudin commented that this data would be used for a number of purposes, including ‘product development and more precise targeting of advertising’.