Facebook shares surge as Zuckerberg talks mobile revenue and Instagram
What an odd year it has been for Facebook. It began with a disastrously overpriced flotation that has seen its $38 IPO price shredded on the markets troubled by the sudden thought that it can not make money out of mobile — despite some predicting otherwise.
That was until yesterday when Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg revealed that 14% of the company’s ad revenue is coming from mobile.
Clearly the quarter since Facebook floated on the Nasdaq has been an important one. Zuckerberg said Facebook made $150m (£94m) in revenue from mobile for the quarter ended 30 September.
“I want to dispel this myth that Facebook can’t make money on mobile. The most important thing to understand here is that we’re just getting started with our mobile product development and monetisation,” Zuckerberg said.
The news had a big reaction on Facebook stock. It bounced by more than $4 going as high as $23.96 before dipping slightly to $23.23. That is still up by almost 20% (19.1%) putting it closer to a more realistic price.
Combine the news from Facebook with what we heard from Twitter in the Summer when it said that on many days “mobile revenue surpassed web”.
Add to that Instagram which is going from strength to strength particularly as grows on the Android platform.
Last month we read how Instagram was overtaking Twitter in terms of daily mobile users suggesting that it could become a very important part of the Facebook mobile revenue story.
Yesterday Zuckerberg spent some time talking about Instagram and highlighted its massive growth, which has not paused since Facebook snapped it up.
“We got to know them because they built a social integration with us that a lot of people really liked, and both companies saw the opportunity to do even more together.
“When we agreed to acquire them, Instagram had 27 million registered users. Today, they have more than 100 million. The most recent comScore report shows that in the US there is more mobile time spent on Instagram than on Twitter.
“By giving Instagram access to some of the tools we have internally here at Facebook, they can grow even faster than they would have alone,” Zuckerberg said
While Facebook bounced there was no such luck for Zynga the once hot social games firm, which is the company credited with bringing games to the social network and enjoying much early success with the many Ville type games (Farmville and CityVille et cetera).
Yesterday it announced it was closing its UK and Japanese offices, as well as some older games and axing 150 staff.
It also warned that its third-quarter numbers were not going to be pretty. It posted a loss and said the weakness was likely to continue into the next quarter.
Its shares did briefly rally on the back of a $200m share buyback rising 13% to $2.42, but quickly fell back to $2.13 down 3.23%. It floated on the Nasdaq in December at $10.