Facebook Sales Surge as Mobile Ad Business Helps to Beat Forecast

Just last summer, Facebook seemed to be flailing for a solution to its biggest revenue threat: Facebook users were moving their usage to mobile devices in droves. In August, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg called mobile “A huge opportunity for Facebook,” and unveiled a new mobile ad platform intended to turn around Facebook’s falling share price. Now, things are certainly rosier for the social network: Facebook is reporting that its mobile ads powered a large jump in first-quarter sales.

With billions of people expected to move to mobile over the next few years, mobile ad sales are key to Facebook’s success. The company announced that mobile ads now account for 30 percent of the company’s overall ad sales. Facebook’s total user base is also increasing, up to 1.1 billion, though the rate at which the company is picking up new users is slowing somewhat. Of those users, 751 million of them are active mobile users, according to Facebook. If mobile advertising is as critical as Facebook believes it to be, the company still has its work cut out for it. That said, Facebook isn’t resting on its laurels. It recently released Facebook Home, which looks to put Facebook front and center on Android (and possibly iOS) phones.