50% Of Global Smartphones Connect To Facebook Every Hour Of The Day
Despite it being referred to as the Achilles heel of the company, here’s an interesting stats relating to Facebook’s mobile site. Research by network equipment firm Sandvine has found that half of the world’s smartphones are connecting to Facebook every hour of the day. This is striking as while Facebook’s mobile strategy is only beginning to take shape now, it puts into context just how much of a hold it has on the mobile market, despite all the criticism it has faced.
The CEO of Sandvine Dave Caputo said in a statement: “We are finding that 50-percent of smart phones are actually connecting to Facebook every hour of every day, which perhaps isn’t surprising when you see Facebook icons on the home pages of most websites. Facebook is a highly valued application with predictable data volumes that require a minimum amount of bandwidth. This is the perfect scenario to implement tiered service plans that offer price certainty for subscribers and cost certainty for service providers.”
Facebook itself has said that it has over 500 million active mobile users worldwide and 901 million monthly active users (as of April 2012), so this percentage is pretty significant. The only problem here is that Sandvine doesn’t give any more information about Facebook’s mobile site apart from this one figure. While it’s a figure that is quite believable – considering how many active mobile users Facebook has – there are no other stats or figures to help provide context and back it up. So until Sandvine provides some context behind this percentage like how the other 50% use their smartphones, it would be unwise to treat this stat as gospel.
Facebook’s major problem – one that’s been pointed out numerous times here and elsewhere – is that it hasn’t figured out a way to take advantage of these huge numbers and monetise its mobile site. This and previous research tells us that the site has a significant audience that all but ensures the success of sponsored stories. But until it approaches mobile as a separate entity and stops trying to match its desktop product in terms of ad revenue – an aim that is very much long-term – the same problems will continue to emerge.