Facebook Inc (FB) Underestimated Mobile Potential: Sandberg


Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), the world’s largest social media company, was not able to correctly estimate the impact of mobile and hence has not been able to capitalize on it completely, admits chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg, who believes there is a huge untapped potential in this sector. She said that the firm had clearly underestimated the growth in mobile.

Facebook Inc (FB) Underestimated Mobile Potential: Sandberg

Customized Apps for OS more popular

Not tailoring the site and advertisements for smartphones and tablets until 2012 was a “pretty big mistake” made by the company as told by Ms Sandberg at the Cannes Lions advertising festival. A major mistake that the company made was designing a mobile app using HTML5, which is a universal computer language, and this app was common for all devices, which backfired at a later stage.

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“We weren’t just late. We made a wrong bet,” she added.

Toady, for various operating systems that include Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android, Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) has “native” apps tailored for each of them that have been much more successful than having common app across all devices. This is evident from the fact that just two years ago the company had no mobile ad revenues, and at present about 59% of company’s ad revenue comes from mobile.

If the results of research are to be believed, then once every 7 minutes people log into their Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) accounts on devices besides mobiles and the frequency further goes up to once in five minutes on mobile devices. Citing the results of this research, Ms Sandberg said “Mobile is even bigger than we thought”.

Facebook working to improve user experience

While Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) is a source of entertainment for people, at times it is also annoying, when people are forced to view advertisements that they are really not interested in. Facebook has decided that it will tackle this problem. For this purpose, making improvement to Facebook’s news feed is promised by Ms Sandberg to enable people see posts from friends and relevant advertisers. “It could still be better,” said Ms Sandberg.

The changes made by Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) in its algorithm have made it more difficult for advertisers to reach out to more number of people with their brands and the prices have also been increased.

Shifting budgets to mobile in the advertising industry has not happened as rapidly as it should have so as to reap the maximum benefit, said Sandberg. She noted that only 4% of the total advertising budget was allocated to mobile, while consumers spent 20% of their time on mobile devices.

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