I’m starting to pick up on a trend where I see the word ‘mobile’ and I imagine that it’s an experience that is similar to mine. One that isn’t mobile, per se, but simple down time consumed on my mobile device while I’m at home. At home, as in not mobile. I sit on my couch and use my iPad to write and watch movies. I’ll often sit at my table and check my email and facebook on my phone. Again, not mobile but more of “device convenience”. A study released in March of 2012 by MocoSpace found that 96 percent of those surveyed played a mobile gaming from at home at least once a day. Interestingly, among those, 53 percent said they played them in bed. A great deal of mobile use is happening just as we get started with our day and is what’s in our hand as we wind down at night.
This weekend, TechCruch covered that ‘Americans Now Spend More Time on Facebook Mobile Than its Website’. Not surprising since it’s another one of those “certainly true for me” statements but I was interested in how the experience is different when it comes to the Facebook business model. Not just is it that the users of Facebook are the product, but specifically how ads are used during the mobile experience. According to TechCrunch, Facebook usually shows four to seven ads per page on its website, but only a few ads per day in its mobile news feed. This is a big deal as more and more people use their phones to view their Facebook page. Investors will have to determine if this is a trend that leads to loss or if there are other ways to put the ads in front of the nearly half a billion Facebook users.
A quote from Mark Zuckerberg, explains how ads got onto Facebook in the first place: “When I was in college, I wasn’t actually starting Facebook to be a business, back then. I rented servers for about $80 a month and, I didn’t have that much money – I was just a college student – so I put up ads, and when I had enough money to get another server, I would do that. So, ads, you know, have always been this really important part of what we do because we want to keep Facebook free for everyone.”
Zuckerberg has taken Facebook into a world where there is still a fine line where too much is too much. Facebook has begun to insert ads in their mobile experience as ‘stories’ that appear in the same stream of friend updates but have an indicator of ‘sponsored’ next to the post. You’ll likely notice it since instead of the 17 likes you’re used to seeing, this one will have in the area of 12,000 or more!
As we become more mobile—weather or not we’re actually mobile—we will experience the Internet on a small screen and those that want our attention will find ways to attract our eyes.