Following a particularly stellar earnings report, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in an earnings call that mobile is absolutely where his company is focused.
“When it comes to mobile, I’m very pleased with the results … soon, we’ll have more revenue on mobile than on desktop,” Zuckerberg said.
And he’s quite correct to be pleased. Last quarter, around 30 percent of revenues came from mobile, a figure analysts expected to rise to 33 percent this quarter. The company beat that significantly with 41 percent of revenue coming from mobile. Clearly, Facebook’s eyes are solidly on mobile and the future of Internet connectivity in a way that few other companies can imitate.
“This [mobile] growth was robust across all regions,” chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg said. “We believe this is because our ads are generating great response.” She continued that the company is pushing forward in three specific areas — product innovation, mobile, and measurement — and today’s results are a direct result of that push.
The CEO also spoke about user growth — the company’s mission to “connect the next five billion people,” especially people in developing areas and those without smartphones.
In Q1 2013, Facebook showed a special focus on increasing global reach and improving access for the service’s 200 million mobile-only users, many of whom are accessing the service from developing areas.
In fact, Facebook recently announced its feature phone app had reached 100 million users, with much of that growth centered in markets in the developing world, including Africa, the Middle East, and the Indian subcontinent.
And more users internationally means more money. “There’s revenue opportunity all around the world,” said Sandberg, especially noting recent growth in Asia Pacific markets.
On total user growth, the CEO said, “I’ve always expected our ration of DAUs to MAUs to increase,” but he pointed out that the opposite has been the case. “People are spending more time on Facebook than ever before,” including, he said, U.S. teenagers.
Zuckerberg was also bullish on the technology behind Graph Search, which he sees as knowledge that helps Facebook users to understand the world. With this information, he said, “We should be able to build intelligent services … that no one else can.”
Finally, there’s the quarter’s big product launch. Instagram video is “off to a great start,” said Zuckerberg, pointing to the fact that the service saw 5 million uploads in its first 24 hours.
Overall, he said of Instagram, “[Founder] Kevin [Systrom] has always been clear that we’re building Instagram to be a business. Over time, we’re gonna generate a lot of profit … through advertising.
“The right focus for now is trying to increase the footprint of Instagram, and when the time is right for advertising, we’ll do that.”
Facebook stock popped significantly as the earnings report came out and is currently trading up 19 percent for the day as of this writing.