/// Facebook’s Future in Mobile Advertising: It’s All About Wi-Fi

August 10, 2012  |  All Things Digital

Karen Bleier via Getty Images/AFP Out of its over 900 million monthly active users, more than half — 488 million — already use Facebook on mobile, and that number is steadily growing. But Facebook’s mobile growth could quickly become a lost opportunity if the company doesn’t dominate the mobile advertising front. Its mobile ad strategy is already showing significant engagement, with click-through rates 14 times higher on mobile than desktop ads. But Facebook is still new to the mobile game, and has more to offer. With the right strategy, it could even save the entire mobile advertising industry. What’s the problem with mobile advertising? An increasing number of mobile users are connecting to the Internet via Wi-Fi, which makes it impossible to use important targeting information, like wireless carrier, to send more relevant ads to mobile users. Compared to ads served to users connecting via wireless network, those served to users connecting via Wi-Fi perform noticeably worse. The following chart shows the conversion rates Moolah Media has seen across thousands of lead generation campaigns and over 100 million clicks during May and June 2012: A mobile user’s carrier reveals a lot about who they are and how they might interact with an ad — information that’s essential for an ad to reach its target audience and to ultimately be profitable. Even the most basic facts are important: if an ad requires a credit card purchase, it makes sense to target users on a monthly billing cycle rather than those on prepaid carriers who may not have credit. Wi-Fi is a growing barrier to the success of mobile ads, and will become a bigger point of discussion as the amount of Wi-Fi traffic picks up — it’s expected to be 51 percent of all Web traffic by 2016. And Wi-Fi isn’t the only issue: third-party browsers also hide the device type, and since they use proxy IPs, they often conceal the country location of the user as well — which makes it impossible to accurately target relevant ads, and results in massive losses for mobile advertisers. A step in the right direction Though performance advertisers are often the little guys, they’re an essential part of the overall ecosystem — making up around 80 percent of mobile advertiser spending.

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Facebook’s Future in Mobile Advertising: It’s All About Wi-Fi

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