As part of its third quarter financial performance, Facebook today reported that 49 percent of its advertising revenue in the period came from mobile usage. That figure is up 8 percent from the second quarter, in which Facebook reported 41 percent of its advertising revenue came from mobile usage.
Facebook had third quarter advertising revenue of $1.8 billion. Forty-nine percent of that tally is $882 million, implying that Facebook’s desktop advertising revenue for the quarter totaled $918 million.
In the second quarter, Facebook had advertising revenue of $1.6 billion, of which 41 percent was mobile-sourced, or $656 million. That implied that Facebook had desktop-sourced ad revenue of $944 million in the second quarter.
Thus, Facebook’s desktop advertising revenue fell $26 million from the second to third quarter. Facebook’s first quarter desktop ad revenue (calculated in the same way) totaled $875 million. Therefore, for now, Facebook’s desktop ad revenue peaked in 2013 in the second quarter.
However, a strong holiday quarter could see Facebook’s desktop ad revenue grow again. For the most recent quarter, its growth rate was negative.
The company’s user base continues to grow, which could easily afford the company more advertising dollars overall. Even if mobile continues to surge for Facebook, desktop advertising revenues could still expand, even as their percentage of the company’s total advertising top line falls. Essentially, assuming that Facebook has upside on its desktop advertising ARPU, it could grow desktop ad revenues in coming quarters due to its expanding userbase, and improving monetization of overseas audiences.
Facebook’s largest revenue category will be mobile-majority in the fourth quarter unless something dramatic changes. It’s no small feat that Facebook grew its mobile advertising revenue $226 million in a single sequential quarter, though in the second quarter that figure was $282 million.
Facebook has all but made the transition to being a mobile-first company. Perhaps Yahoo can take a page from its script.