Facebook’s Mobile First Strategy: Mobile UX + 1.5 Billion Users + Ads = $2.9 Billion

Dan Engel Commentary

“We got a lot done in 2014,” declared Facebook CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg with the release of their earnings report for 2014. And in 2015, the online community of friends has simply prolonged its phenomenal growth, with income up 40% for the first three quarters.

Indeed, since its IPO in 2012, Facebook has remade itself, fostering its audience, monetizing its product and most importantly pivoting to mobile. In fact, mobile is the lynchpin for all Zuckerberg’s other achievements — locking in Facebook’s hold on the global youth market to become the leading app on smartphones.

Profits in 2014 doubled from $1.5 billion to $2.9 billion. But the latest evidence of Facebook’s mobile prowess is the number of users accessing Facebook only on mobile: 723 million monthly users now reach Facebook’s app via just phone or tablet, surpassing all other connection methods, says Statista. That compares to a miserly 160 million only on PC and 658 million who access FB via both platforms.

That 723 million in Q3 2015 is a vast increase from the 100 million mobile users a mere three years back in 2012. According to Statista’s analysis, the explosion in mobile users stems in part from an increase in underdeveloped countries where the populace typically relies on phones for web access, lacking desktop computers.

In prioritizing mobile — developing effective apps and monetizing them — Facebook has consistently focused on delivering an optimal mobile UX. Foremost in it is efforts has been load time, a major roadblock for all smartphones, but especially in countries where networks offer only 2G connectivity. Facebook’s innovative tactics, reports Business Insider, include immediately identifying the user’s connection speed and adjusting FB’s News Feed to ensure quick access and user satisfaction.

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