In a recent interview with Mashable and Reuters following its “Deals” launch, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said his company is in no hurry to leverage mobile advertising to monetize its more than 200 million mobile users.
Instead, Facebook continues to sit on the sidelines to see how everything plays out. “We only want to launch stuff that we think is really good and that can be a stable building block for us in the future,” explained Zuckerberg. “And I think we just need to see what makes sense for mobile advertising. But in the short term there’s no pressing need for us to monetize that immediately.”
Facebook mobile lead Erick Tseng, who was also present during the interview, added that he didn’t think anyone has cracked the code on mobile advertising just yet. “Slapping on a banner ad or some display ad on to a UI (user interface), especially when it a 3.7-inch display…it’s not really the greatest experience,” he said. From their responses, it seems like Facebook is still very much dedicated to building out its core products, which include major movements on the mobile front, before moving ahead with any major mobile monetization efforts. While it’s a logical stance, they may end up losing the battle to competitors like Google before they even plan a solid strategy.
“I think actually in a lot of ways we benefit from waiting and seeing what more people do in this space,” Zuckerberg said. “Ultimately if all these people are using Facebook and there’s a good solution that we can plug into that, then that will be fine when we do it.” What’s interesting is that Zuckerberg is of the mindset that 200 million mobile users is just the tip of the iceberg.
“There are 200 million people using Facebook on phones – that’s cool, it’s up three times from last year at this time. Another way to look at that is there’s only 200 million people using Facebook on phones. We have more the latter view. Our goal is going to be to expand that and deliver more value for more people before focusing on how we can reap that,” he said.