Facebook's mobile milestone part of growing trend

In December, more of Facebook's daily users accessed the site using mobile devices than through desktop computers.

Mobile ads brought in just 23 per cent of Facebook's revenue, a problem it hasn't fixed

In December, more of facebook's daily users accessed the site via mobile apps than through desktop computers. (Matt Rourke/Associated Press)

In December, more of Facebook's daily users accessed the site using mobile devices than with desktop computers. It's a first for the social networking site, and part of a bigger trend toward the mobile space.

The number of users that accessed Facebook online in December was 680 million, a 57 per cent increase from a year ago.

Each year, more and more Canadians are embracing mobile devices — including smartphones and tablets.

According to the Canadian Wireless and Telecommunications Association, 48 per cent of Canadians had a smartphone last year, an increase of 15 percentage points from 2011. Among those age 18 to 34, 69 per cent had a smartphone, up 21 percentage points in just a year.

And 17 per cent of Canadians have a tablet, according to Ipsos Reid.

Mobile ad market to triple

With more users come more opportunities for advertising. In the United States, mobile advertising is expected to triple by 2014 to become a $6.6 billion US industry, according to research firm eMarketer.

But it's a market dominated by Google, which currently generates 54  per cent of all mobile ad revenue — a share that eMarketer predicts will stay steady for the next two years.

Despite Facebook's bigger push to mobile, ad revenue has yet to make the same shift. Mobile ads brought in 23 per cent of Facebook's total revenue, a proportion that some analysts say isn't growing fast enough.

On the company's earnings call on Wednesday, CEO Mark Zuckerberg did his best to calm investors, who had become worried Facebook was falling behind in mobile advertising. "Today, there's no argument. Facebook is a mobile company."