Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) extended its lead in mobile platforms in December last year. A report compiled and published by Cantor Fitzgerald Research highlighted this improvement, adding that the social network outpaced its peers in mobile engagement. According to new data released by COMSCORE, Inc. (NASDAQ:SCOR), Facebook not only has the competitive edge in mobile engagement growth, but negative PC growth has also seen an unpredicted increase in the past month.
More notably Facebook’s combined growth for smartphones and PC saw strong sequential growth in December. To sweeten the pot, this tremendous growth excludes tablets (one of the fastest growing platforms in the tech space). This demonstrates the magnitude of growth witnessed in the past month.
Cantor believes that Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB)’s prospects in mobile are latched onto mobile advertising, arguing that its shares will be a key beneficiary of this prevalent trend. Nonetheless, Cantor points out that many fear that the rapid transition to mobile could be bundled together with uncertain monetization.
Figures released from COMSCORE, Inc. (NASDAQ:SCOR) show that Facebook’s mobile time spent metrics steepened to +14.9 percent M/M to 67.3 billion minutes during the month of December. This is a notable increase from November’s +12.4 percent and October’s much lower +6.4 percent. Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) had a +0.4M/M percent change and Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) had a worse -2.0 percent M/M. These figures paint a clearer picture of just how much Facebook has gained in mobile engagement relative to its primary competitors.
The reversed fortunes in the PC segment were candidly displayed by an 11.4 percent M/M in December, a huge leap from November’s -6.7 percent and October’s alarming -3.1 percent.
Awakened efforts in mobile monetization
Perhaps the most notable thing in Cantor’s research is the awakened efforts in mobile monetization. For most of last year, Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) has been looking for ways to translate its bulging mobile base into a rosy bottom line and as we reported, Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS), alongside other research firms, has taken note of these efforts.
Cantor’s reports shows that mobile represented 14 percent of ad revenue in 3Q 2012. Moreover, mobile sponsored stories attained -$1 billion in annual revenue run-rate. This is commendable considering the short eight-month timescale.
It has also been noted that Facebook has rolled out new mobile ad formats to complement the existing ones and rake in bigger returns. Examples include, ‘Pages-You-May-Like’ and ‘Appinstall ads’. Cantor has reiterated its buy recommendation on Facebook and has in addition, pegged a price target of $33.Cantor’s price target is $1 higher than Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS)’s early January price target of $32.
At the time of writing, Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) was trading at $30.51.