Americans use Facebook's mobile site and apps more than its regular site

Americans use Facebook's mobile site and apps more than its regular site
According to analytics firm comScore, Americans are using the mobile version of Facebook and apps for the social network more than they are using Facebook's regular website. Time spent by Americans on the mobile site and the apps came out to 441 minutes per month for an average user while 391 minutes per month was spent on the regular website by an average user. According to comScore, as of March 80% of Facebook users from iOS, Android and the BlackBerry OS came from apps as opposed to 20% that used the mobile browser to access the site. The Facebook app, according to comScore, had the third highest number of unique app viewers  in March, viewing the app from iOS and Android. That number worked out to about 26 million viewers and the Facebook app trailed only the iTunes mobile app and the mobile app for Google Maps.

While it doesn't seem like a big deal, the rise of the mobile site and the accompanying apps could lead to a drop in revenue for Facebook at a time when investors are going to want to see growth in the company to justify its stock price. On its regular site, Facebook shows 4 to 7 ads per page. But on the mobile site and on the apps, there are only a few ads shown daily. This means that the more people that switch to using the social network from their smartphone, the lower the amount of ad revenue that Facebook will collect. In fact, in its prospectus sent to potential investors in Facebook's stock, the company noted that the higher the number of mobile users, the worst its business is doing.

Originally, the mobile version and the subsequent apps were employed by users just to grab a quick look at Facebook while out. But with today's powerful phones, Facebook members on the go can do everything from their handset that they could do with the regular site. 78 million Americans age 18 or older use the mobile Facebook site and they spend 7.3 hours per month using it. 160 million Americans access the social network from its regular web page, using it for an average 6,5 hours per month.

Since Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg didn't want the mobile site to be full of banner ads that take up most of the screen, Facebook decided to offer Sponsored Stories. These are stories that might have appeared on your news feed, but is more prominently listed in exchange for advertising dollars. These started showing up in March, but the number of these stories has been kept down so as not to annoy mobile Facebook users. The problem here is that this lowers the revenue that the company so badly needs now that it has Wall Street as its master.

source: comScore via TechCrunch


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