Just days after Facebook filed the paperwork needed to take the company public, talks are circling that one of the biggest missed revenue portions of the company (mobile) could be monetized in a matter of weeks.
The Financial Times reported Sunday that mobile users of the Facebook application will start seeing advertisements, featured stories and other money-making elements in the coming weeks, which is great news for the brands that want to reach nearly half of the Facebook audience logging in on their mobile devices.
In the S-1 filing released Wednesday, Facebook states that mobile access to the platform generates no “meaningful revenue" and the featured stories could help make that arm of the company churn out revenue needed to show continued growth in the sector.
This means that users that have been using mobile apps for Facebook will start seeing items in their news feed much like the promoted tweets used on Twitter.
And since the Facebook app is so widely used across all the platforms, usually topping the app charts as the most frequently downloaded app across all major smartphone platforms, the promise of reaching all those eyes is a great opportunity for Facebook advertisers.
This isn't to say that there won't be backlash from users, since everyone has become accustomed to an add-free app experience, but I don't think many people thought that the free ride would last very long anyway.
Without the mobile monetization, Facebook has already experienced revenue growth of 88% in 2011 to $3.71 billion, but investors are already chomping at the bit to see what mobile ads could do in the revenue arena.
Facebook users have already seen sponsored posts in their news tickers for quite some time and often in relation to companies or campaigns that they have "liked" so that the information is more relevant and targeted to their preferences.
Another study conducted in early 2011 showed that mobile ad CTR are significantly higher than online banner ads, which are the ads that appear on the sides of Web pages, not the more effective Web social ads. But what this entails is that if this new strain of sponsored stories to run on the Facebook mobile app combines the click power of social ads with that of mobile, the ad conversion could be significant.
Mobile apps also provide even greater possibilities in the realm of geo-location and targeted advertising -- perhaps offering suggestions, coupons and other ads based on what stores you are near or where you check in. The revenue possibilities only grow from this point.