Facebook shares rose 14 percent, to top $107, in pre-market trading Thursday, a day after the social network reported explosive growth in mobile-advertising revenue.
In its fourth quarter report on Wednesday, Facebook reported that mobile ads accounted for nearly 80 percent of total ad revenue in the company’s latest quarter. That’s up from 69 percent a year ago.
The company’s revenues were expected to rise 20 percent from the third quarter. Instead, Facebook’s sales grew by 30 percent, to $5.8 billion.
The success in mobile wasn’t an accident. CEO Mark Zuckerberg anticipated the mobile era and steered the company into a position where it could take advantage. Two years ago at CES, Carolyn Everson, Facebook vice president of global marketing solutions, declared “Mobile is the best thing that happened to our business.”
Back then, Everson recalled how Zuckerberg altered the direction of the company beginning in 2011 to focus on mobile products. Part of that transition consisted of retraining engineers and rebuilding apps, which at the time were often glitch ridden. “When Mark re-pivoted the company and made it very clear that our entire future was going to be based on mobile, the psychology inside our company changed practically overnight,” Everson said.
On Feb. 1, all eyes will be on the mobile-ad numbers reported by Alphabet, the parent company of Google. That’s when the tech-sector’s largest advertiser is expected to release earnings.