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Facebook's new strategy: All mobile, all the time

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Facebook beat Wall Street’s expectations on Tuesday by reporting that it had increased third quarter revenue by 32%. The biggest reason behind beating the odds? Mobile.

On late Tuesday afternoon, Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, COO Sheryl Sandberg, and CFO David Ebersman conducted a conference call with investors to report on the company’s 2012 third quarter earnings. The trio also outlined how the company plans to grow and make more money. A big part of that strategy was monetizing mobile.

Mark Zuckerberg told investors that people who visit Facebook using a mobile device instead of a computer have a 70 percent chance of returning to the site on a daily basis, compared to just 40 percent for users who only access the social network site using a desktop or laptop.

“We can reach more users, those users visit Facebook more often, and I think we’ll make more money.”

Zuckerberg & Co detailed how the company was making a push to display more ads on mobile. One such move was to incorporate ads into a user’s activity feed instead of placing them on the right side column of the non-mobile site.

The strategy seems to have paid off. Facebook reported that 14 percent of its revenue over the past quarter came from mobile.

The shift in focus to mobile devices makes sense. According to a slide presentation that accompanied the conference call, mobile monthly active users grew from 543 million in the second quarter of 2012 to 604 million in the third quarter, an increase of 61 million.

“I want to dispel the myth that Facebook can’t make money on mobile,” Zuckerberg said.

“This may have seemed true earlier this year because we hadn’t started trying yet.”

Photo via TechCrunch/Flickr