Newspaper article International New York Times

Facebook's Results Reflect Shift to Mobile ; Most of Its Ad Revenue Comes from Cellphones and Other Such Devices

Newspaper article International New York Times

Facebook's Results Reflect Shift to Mobile ; Most of Its Ad Revenue Comes from Cellphones and Other Such Devices

Article excerpt

The company said that three-quarters of its first-quarter ad revenue and most of its visitors came from mobile devices.

Facebook is now so thoroughly a mobile service that its original website may soon become a footnote in the company's financial statements.

The world's largest social network reported on Wednesday that almost three-quarters of its advertising revenue and most of its 1.44 billion users came from cellphones and other mobile devices in the first quarter of the year.

And Facebook is beginning to make a similar transition from text to video, with its users already watching four billion videos a day, an average of four per person (although the view may be more like a glance, since Facebook considers three seconds long enough to count).

"More than any other company right now, they are the single biggest beneficiary of this shift to video and mobile," said Mark Mahaney, an Internet analyst with RBC Capital Markets. "This growth is going to be more sustainable than people realize."

Revenue and profit grew a bit more slowly in the first quarter than in the recent past, Facebook also reported. But analysts said that was mainly a matter of choice. Facebook, which makes virtually all of its money from advertising, limits the number of ads it sells on its social network and on Instagram, the separate photo-sharing app it owns. So far, it has allowed no advertising on its fast- growing messaging services, Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp.

"They have advertisers pounding at the doors to get their customers," said Ben Schachter, an analyst with Macquarie Securities.

In a conference call with investors to discuss the financial results, Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook's co-founder and chief executive, made it clear that he had no interest in flooding users of Facebook and Instagram with more commercial messages -- just better ones. "The primary goal is to increase the quality," he said. "That's our strategy for growing the business."

That approach certainly has not hurt the company's bottom line. …

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