May 06, 2013, 4:15 PM — Facebook last week cited mobile growth as a major contributor to its first-quarter increase in sales and profits.
So does that mean the company that just a year ago, cited mobile as one of its biggest risks has swiftly mastered it?
More work in mobile services is still needed to get in front of the movement that is taking over the online world.
"Mobile was certainly their most-improved area, and that's good because it has been the monkey on their back for a long time," said Patrick Moorhead, an analyst with Moor Insights & Strategy. "Neither Facebook, nor any company has mastered mobile, but they do get the most improved award. Their previous experience was horrible and now they have some of the best mobile apps out there."
During Facebook's first-quarter earnings report Wednesday, the company reported revenue of $1.46 billion for the quarter ended March 31, an increase of 38%.
Mobile advertising constituted 30% of the company's total ad revenue.
A growing mobile user base also played a big role in the social network's overall user base.
Facebook reported that its monthly active user based increased by 23% to 1.11 billion, while its monthly active mobile users jumped by 54% to 751 million.
Facebook has been striving to turn mobile from a burden into a benefit.
Last spring, the world's largest social network listed mobility among its "risk factors" in an amended filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The company admitted that the quickening shift from traditional desktop or laptop computers to mobile devices was hurting Facebook's advertising plan, since it had no way to monetize this growing mobile trend.
Since then, Facebook released a mobile app that has become the most popular in the U.S.
Last year, the company acquired Instagram, a popular photo-sharing app, and delivered new development tools for iOS and Android.
In January, at the company's fourth-quarter and year-end earnings meeting, executives said they were driving a mobile company.