What the Facebook IPO means to mobile marketers

19 replies
We're now about 4 days in to the Facebook IPO where their stock went public, and it's been a wild ride. The stock rose a little bit and fell a little bit, and really hasn't taken off like many people thought it would.

Now, Facebook is being sued for allegedly withholding material information about risk and trends. What material information?

Monetization and mobile users.

It seems that Facebook is seeing a growing trend of mobile users, which they can't monetize as well with click ads like they can on the desktop version.

Facebook Is Getting Killed – By Itself | Mark Hachman | PCMag.com

The big thing that is encouraging to someone doing local mobile marketing is the overall trend. We all know the stats about mobile users growing and being projected to outnumber desktop users in 3-5 years, but here's a real life example.
#facebook #ipo #marketers #means #mobile
  • Profile picture of the author WillR
    You know what. I was only thinking about this the other day. I have both a Blackberry and an iPhone device, both with the official Facebook apps installed, and there is absolutely no advertising on either. So if mobile were my only way of connecting to Facebook then they would be making absolutely no money from me.

    I really don't see how they are going to monetize the mobile side of things without pissing off the users... and I am guessing this is the predicament they are in right now.

    On a desktop or tablet screen, advertising is a lot more bearable because it takes up a lot less screen real estate. On a small smartphone or the like the advertising becomes a LOT more apparent and a lot more annoying.

    I am sure a lot of you have used a free app before that makes their money by having banner ads display on the screen. How annoying are those things when on a small screen? A lot of the times we will just put up with them because we know it's the cost of using the 'free' app but I don't think people are going to be as forgiving with a service like Facebook.

    I bet as soon as they start rolling out ads in the mobile version there will be a big uproar from the users and I'm guessing that's what they are probably scared of and why they are yet to do anything about it. Who knows, maybe they will come up with some ingenious way to make it work where it doesn't piss off the users... will be interesting to watch though.

    With the way mobile stats are going right now, if they don't come up with an intelligent solution to this problem then they are toast. For a company that relies so heavily on advertising for majority of their revenue, when you lose the ability to advertise, you become worthless.

    P.S. Thanks for sharing that Dan.
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  • Profile picture of the author mjs
    I wonder if Zuck has had this at the back of his mind and this is why he chose now. It also seems a bit coincidental that the big G also buy Motorola around the same time.
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    • Profile picture of the author RichBeck
      Originally Posted by mjs View Post

      I wonder if Zuck has had this at the back of his mind and this is why he chose now. It also seems a bit coincidental that the big G also buy Motorola around the same time.
      Personally, I think he sees Facebook flattening... Then, declining like MySpace and others have.... He is grabbing money while he can still "sell high"....

      God Bless,

      Rich
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      • Profile picture of the author WillR
        Originally Posted by RichBeck View Post

        Personally, I think he sees Facebook flattening... Then, declining like MySpace and others have.... He is grabbing money while he can still "sell high"....

        God Bless,

        Rich
        But but but...

        Mark always said it was not about the money for him.
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      • Profile picture of the author Larry_Horne
        There's little time I spend on Facebook either desktop or mobile but in that small window it seems to me there's a lot more ads since the IPO. Have you noticed it? Also what's with the "ads not by facebook" in the corner of lots of new posts?
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  • Profile picture of the author crosshairs
    You are dead on Will.

    Now that they have released the Fan Page Management App they can probably roll ads out there first. Or maybe in the Messager app. The users of the Fan Page app need it for business so they won't stop using because of ads.

    I'm guessing they would have to make the ads in stream and blend in to keep the users happy. Although they haven't been afraid to piss people off in the past lol.

    It will be interesting to see their solution. It's pretty much do or die from the trends.
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  • Profile picture of the author mjs
    I'm sure I read somewhere they were going to start putting ads into user wall feeds, this would work on mobiles BUT would really get peoples backs up.

    The thing is that now they are answerable to shareholders the whole focus will change and Mark will have to get over the fact he is not in it for the money because i'm pretty sure his shareholders are!
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  • Profile picture of the author KingMedia
    Even if Facebook put adsense and mobile adsense on their site they would be killing it!

    FB mobile is not monetized, and is half ass - no apps.

    Perhaps they already have a plan for monetizing mobile? If so, the stock would shoot up fast.
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    • Profile picture of the author Daniel LaRusso
      Originally Posted by KingMedia View Post

      Even if Facebook put adsense and mobile adsense on their site they would be killing it!

      FB mobile is not monetized, and is half ass - no apps.

      Perhaps they already have a plan for monetizing mobile? If so, the stock would shoot up fast.
      Right on.
      Did any of the rest of you notice that very, very recently, the Facebook app was updated? I'm on the Android, so I don't know about Apple, but I was given a new update to the app that sort of changed the feel of the app a bit. It seems more responsive and easier for me to use. Perhaps, like you said, they have seen the handwriting on the wall and are making steps to monetize the mobile version, at least of their app, if not also their mobile website.

      Still, the thing to not overlook is that the GIANT 800 lb gorilla in the room, Facebook, has all but conceded that mobile is the wave of the future. Use this information wisely - there's likely not a single business owner on the face of the planet who doesn't at least know what Facebook is. When trying to sell mobile, we often can get too much into the jargon and the mechanics.

      If the majority of users, even according to Facebook, are going mobile, that is where a business needs to be.
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  • Profile picture of the author Steve1776
    Or they could go with the membership model. Most would pay $1 a month. They would bitch at first, then accept it. Look at how much is spent on farmville. Plus they could charge $5 a month for business pages.
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    • Profile picture of the author nickhumph
      Originally Posted by Steve1776 View Post

      Or they could go with the membership model. Most would pay $1 a month. They would bitch at first, then accept it. Look at how much is spent on farmville. Plus they could charge $5 a month for business pages.
      No No No.. Facebook will never charge for it's services and if they did it would create a massive flood of users to go to another 'facebook'. User base expansion would also be non-evident.. that's the worst thing they could ever do...
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  • Profile picture of the author WillR
    Charging users isn't the answer.... but you could have advertising and then offer a version without advertising for a small fee. I still don't think that would go down very well though. Facebook has always been about FREE and it would be very hard, almost impossible, to start charging people when they have all just seen how much money was raised in the IPO. No chance!

    The average person would look at it as greed and it would ruin the companies reputation forever.
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    • Profile picture of the author Brandon Tanner
      If this is true, that would be one way FB could monetize "mobile" without relying on in-phone advertising. I think it would be an extremely risky move for them though, so it will be interesting to see how that pans out if they decide to go through with it.
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  • Profile picture of the author crosshairs
    Anyone else get the email from Facebook about Promoted Posts today? I'm pretty sure those could go straight into the mobile Stream without people complaining. And they are already fans of the page so that lowers complaints too.

    Promoted Posts Video - Facebook

    And they are a bit expensive, $4.00+ eCPM

    Facebook Promoted Posts Feature Starting to Show Up for Some Pages | WebProNews
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  • Profile picture of the author NewParadigm
    come up with a way to monetize mobile for FB and you'll be a billionaire in a few short months.

    or just start an open source "freebook" some outfit like wikipedia could do a facebook clone in a hurry.
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    • Profile picture of the author WillR
      Originally Posted by NewParadigm View Post

      come up with a way to monetize mobile for FB and you'll be a billionaire in a few short months.

      or just start an open source "freebook" some outfit like wikipedia could do a facebook clone in a hurry.
      Clones never work very well. There are already a ton of clones out there. The success of a site like Facebook has to do with a lot more than just the technical side of the website.
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      • Profile picture of the author NewParadigm
        Yes, they have a huge installed base advantage, but looking at how fast myspace dropped off, it can happen to FB. If FB starts running ads in newsfeeds etc...that could be a catalyst for another ad free site to catch on quickly. I'd think eventually the final long standing successful facebook will be an open source set up. For the people, by the people. Look what happened to music and that was with protected content. Social network content is user generated content and has no impediments. There will be growing pressure on FB to monetize now they are public, and attempts that go overboard could be the catalyst to provide an opening for someone else.


        Originally Posted by WillR View Post

        Clones never work very well. There are already a ton of clones out there. The success of a site like Facebook has to do with a lot more than just the technical side of the website.
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  • Profile picture of the author TrumpiaTim
    I think this is great, more news like this will only expedite the adoption of mobile marketing.

    This is really win-win for everyone involved in mobile marketing.

    Now how Facebook chooses to address their issue of users using their smartphones, that's something Facebook needs to figure out.
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