Facebook eyes more start-ups as mobile ad revenue soars

Mobile platforms accounted for 30% of Facebook’s advertising revenue for the first quarter, according to new figures, as the social media giant to snaps up a number of mobile-based start-ups.

 

According to Facebook’s latest earnings results, approximately $375 million of the company’s $1.25 billion in advertising revenue came from mobile ads in the first quarter.

 

In the previous quarter, Facebook made 23%, or $305.9 million, from mobile advertisements. That represents a 22.5% quarter-over-quarter increase in mobile advertising revenue.

 

The company saw its first-quarter profit soar 58% from a year ago to $217 million.

 

Monthly active users rose 23% on a year ago to 1.11 billion, including 751 million who accessed the platform via mobile.

 

Here’s a few of the mobile start-ups set to drive Facebook’s revenue even higher.

 

Parse

 

Just a few days ago, Facebook acquired mobile development tool start-up Parse for a reported $85 million.

 

Parse, based in San Francisco, was founded in 2011 by Y Combinator graduates Ilya Sukhar, James Yu and Kevin Lacker, who raised about $7 million in funding.

 

According to Facebook, the acquisition of Parse will make it easier for developers to build mobile apps with Facebook Platform.

 

“We want to enable developers to rapidly build apps that span mobile platforms and devices,” company spokesperson Douglas Purdy wrote in a post on Facebook’s developer blog.

 

“Parse makes this possible by allowing developers to work with native objects that provide backend services for data storage, notifications, user management and more.

 

“This removes the need to manage servers and a complex infrastructure, so you can simply focus on building great user experiences.”

 

Osmeta

 

Last month, Facebook acquired Mountain View-based mobile software start-up Osmeta, which has also been around since 2011. It was founded by Amit Singh and Mark Smith.

 

Osmeta describes itself as a 19-person engineering team consisting of “world-renowned hackers and highly accomplished researchers” capable of “herculean” software engineering.

 

Neither Osmeta nor Facebook have commented on the acquisition, so it’s hard to know what Facebook’s motives are.

 

However, Osmeta is yet to launch a commercial product, suggesting the deal is primarily a talent buyout as Facebook looks to strengthen its mobile presence.

 

Karma

 

In May last year, following its disappointing IPO, Facebook acquired San Francisco-based start-up Karma, which lets users send gifts to their friends from their smartphones.

 

Founded by Lee Linden and Ben Lewis, the Karma app allows users to browse through a virtual storefront. Karma has partnered with providers such as Spotify, so the gift range is impressive.

 

Once the user has found a gift, they can create a virtual card and send the gift to the recipient via text, email or a message on their Facebook wall.

 

The app’s Facebook integration is a key part of its appeal. Karma reads through messages on users’ Facebook walls and alerts them to specific events for which they might want to buy a gift.

 

“This acquisition combines Karma’s passion and innovative mobile app with Facebook’s platform to help people connect and share in new and meaningful ways,” Facebook said.

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