Facebook hints at app monetisation ambitions

Facebook hints at app monetisation ambitions

24 JUL 2014

Facebook revealed a number of interesting details that provide insight into its plans to monetise its expanding mobile app capability.

With both Facebook Messenger and photo sharing service Instagram having more than 200 million users each, there is significant opportunity to generate revenue from the services.

Speaking during the company’s Q2 results call yesterday, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that following the recruitment of David Marcus from PayPal to head up Facebook Messenger the company expects “to build Messenger into an important business”.

And it appears to be building momentum in messaging, with around 12 billion messages sent every day via the social network. This figure will be dramatically increased when the $19 billion acquisition of WhatsApp closes.

Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s COO, commented that the company has seen “positive early demand” from marketers for ads in Instagram, which are currently being rolled out on a selective basis.

Instagram was upgraded in June to give users more tools to refine the look and feel of their photos, described by Zuckerberg as “an important part of building out Instagram’s capability as a platform”.

However, Zuckerberg warned there is “a lot of work to set up the foundation for having a good business community and ecosystem” for Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp, and it will be “years of work before those are huge businesses for us”.

Another area of progress was the use of Facebook Login by third party apps, with Zuckerberg noting that more than 80 per cent of the top iOS and Android titles now use this functionality.

So we think we’re in a great position to be the cross platform-platform that lets developers build great apps across every platform,” Zuckerberg said.

Elsewhere, App Links, which deep link to specific content in apps, are now being used by hundreds of apps across iOS, Android and Window Phone, providing access to more than one billion individual destinations.

Zuckerberg said that although it’s “still early” to say how App Links will progress, he believes it will be “a valuable part of the ecosystem”.

Facebook’s own ad network, Audience Network, meanwhile received a lot of interest from developers, according to the company, with plans to ramp up availability in the next few months.

The period also saw Facebook refine its app offerings with the withdrawal of its Poke photo messaging and Camera photo sharing apps from Apple’s App Store.


Tim Ferguson

Tim joined Mobile World Live in August 2011 and works across all channels, with a particular focus on apps. He came to the GSMA with five years of tech journalism experience, having started his career as a reporter... More

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