The figures come from technology analyst Mobile Squared, which says the UK will account for about £89m of revenue. It implies a vast and so far untapped source of cash for the worldwide social media industry, which commentators point out is still in its infancy.
Both Facebook and it’s professional counterpart LinkedIn have announced the introduction of mobile advertising this year, despite questions hanging over the delivery of such ads on comparatively small smartphone screens.
Mobile Squared chief analyst Nick Lane admits that the figures contain some assumptions, including mobile user numbers and time spent on mobile versions of sites, and does not take into consideration rumours that Facebook is set to include ads in users’ newsfeeds.
But even the most anaemic scenario is a step-change for the sector, he says: “With Facebook finally opening its gargantuan doors to mobile advertising, we expect this to be the most significant development to the mobile advertising industry to date.”
“Facebook has the audience that brands desire and it has the volume in terms of traffic. We are not saying that every brand will drop what they are doing and move their mobile strategy onto Facebook. But everyone wants to be part of that community, so inevitably it will attract big mobile ad spend.”
Lane says that mobile Facebook adverts, like in the case of apps a few years ago, will become a major part of marketers’ plans for the near future. But he cautions that user experience has to be secured to “avoid a customer uprising”.
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