When Facebook went public in May 2012, it was booking just over $1 billion a quarter in revenue. On Wednesday, it reported $5.38 billion in revenue, up 52% from last year and up 5x from Q2 2012.
As this chart from Statista shows, all of that growth has come from a single source: mobile advertising. Facebook is perfectly positioned for the shift to mobile – more than 1.5 billion people check Facebook on their phones at least once a month and nearly 900 million check Facebook only on their phones, the company said on its earnings call. Mobile users in the U.S. spend an average of 30 minutes a day checking the site, more than 3x as much time as they spend checking the number-two service, Snapchat, according to ComScore and Morgan Stanley. And these users are often browsing without any particular destination or goal in mind, which makes them receptive to brand advertising like TV viewers, as Ben Thompson pointed out in his daily Stratechery column.
Which is why Sheryl Sandberg told the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday, “Businesses are no longer asking if they should market on mobile, they’re asking how…This is a shift that we think we’re very well-positioned to take advantage of and build on.” Indeed.