Facebook Earnings a ‘Watershed Event’ for Advertising on Mobile Social Sites

social networks, mobile, advertising, tablets, advertising revenueFacebook’s recent earnings statement — which showed dramatic increases in the company’s revenue from mobile users — is likely to give a big boost to advertising on mobile social networks, according to Opera Software executive vice president of consumer mobile Mahi de Silva.

“Tuesday afternoon, by every measure of the ad industry, Facebook hit the ball out of the ballpark. That earnings release will do a lot for social content in general on mobile,” de Silva said.

Marketers will be more confident about spending for advertising on social apps and websites, and digital publishers will be more assertive in setting prices, he said.

“You need these watershed events that help both sides. Advertising is a marketplace between publishers and advertisers, and social media has always been a little bit iffy,” de Silva said.

De Silva talked to SocialTimes about Opera’s latest quarterly report on the state of mobile advertising, released today. The report, based on Opera’s sales as a major mobile advertising network, showed business content continuing to earn the most revenue per impression. Social content drove far more impressions but brought in less total revenue. (Opera does not sell advertising on Facebook or Twitter, which run their own ad networks.) In the third quarter, it accounted for about 7.5 percent of mobile advertising spending, up from just 5 in the previous quarter.

Sports content brought in more revenue than in previous quarters, according to the report. Sports also drove more traffic on desktop, according to a comScore report released yesterday.

Mobile apps brought in 73 percent of advertising revenue, with mobile Web accounting for the rest. De Silva said that Web will likely earn a larger share as the performance gap between the two mobile approaches narrows.

iOS, and particularly iPad, advertising continued to be most lucrative for content publishers.

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