Researchers at eMarketer have come out with a report that predicts Google, Twitter and Pandora will each garner far more mobile advertising revenue than Facebook will this year. But the report also takes a rosy view of Facebook’s future, predicting the giant social network will see its mobile revenue grow by more than a factor of five next year.
Those are big numbers, and all the more important because most experts believe mobile advertising is crucial to the future of many web-based businesses, as more and more people use their smartphones and tablets to go online, instead of PCs. The folks at eMarketer project the overall U.S. mobile ad market will be worth $12 billion by 2016.
eMarketer headlined its report with the finding that Twitter will take in almost twice as much mobile revenue as its much larger rival, Facebook. Both companies have recently been working hard to launch new ad products aimed at building mobile revenue. But Twitter has said it generates more revenue from mobile users than from web users on many days, while Facebook has been criticized for moving more slowly into the mobile ad world.
Even so, eMarketer expects Facebook will see a big surge in mobile ad revenue next year, which could push it into the number-two position behind Google. Google is still the mobile ad leader by far, thanks to its mobile search advertising.
The numbers are telling: This year, eMarketer expects Google to have $1.4 billion in mobile revenue, Pandora to have $226 million, Twitter to have $130 million, Apple to have $75 million and Facebook to have $72.7 million. But by next year, the firm projects Google’s mobile revenue at $2.4 billion, Facebook’s at $387 million, Pandora at $349 million and Twitter at $272 million, with Apple at just $103 million.
Meanwhile, Facebook reported today that it’s closed its deal to buy Instagram, the popular photo-sharing service that Facebook hopes will help it appeal even more to mobile users.