Chart of the day: Facebook and Alibaba Mobile Business Growth 2012-2015

Facebook and Alibaba Mobile Business Growth 2012 to 2015

In this post, we look at the Facebook and Alibaba mobile business growth from Q2 2012 to Q4 2015. For Facebook, we provide information on mobile advertising revenues as a percentage of the total advertising revenues. For Alibaba, we provide information on mobile gross merchandise volume (GMV) as a percentage of total GMV.

Facebook Mobile Advertising Growth

"In 2012, we connected over a billion people and became a mobile company," said Mark Zuckerberg in a press release announcing Facebook 2012 results. In Q4 2012, 23% of Facebook advertising revenue came from mobile. After three years, in Q4 2015, the share of mobile advertising revenue in Facebook total advertising revenue reached 80%. This clearly shows how the online advertising moved from desktop to mobile. In the year 2015, Facebook generated a total of $17 billion revenues from advertising, of which $13.2 billion came from mobile advertising.

In 2015, Google generated a total $67.4 billion revenues from advertising business. This is nearly four-times that of Facebook advertising revenues. But, Google does not provide details of how much of their total advertising revenues came from mobile. So, it is difficult to determine whether Facebook is the largest or the second-largest mobile advertising company.

Alibaba Mobile GMV Growth

Another online company that has seen strong growth in mobile is Alibaba. It is the largest company in the world in gross merchandise volume (GMV). GMV is a measure of the eCommerce volume enabled by an online platform. Alibaba defines GMV as the total value of confirmed orders over its marketplace platforms, regardless of whether the buyer and the seller actually settled the transaction.

Alibaba is the largest mobile commerce company in the world also. Mobile commerce volume or Mobile GMV is the portion of GMV generated by orders that are confirmed using a mobile app or mobile website.

In Q4 2012 (quarter ending December 2012), Alibaba mobile GMV as a percentage of total GMV was 7.4%. After three years, in Q4 2015 (quarter ending December 2015), the share of mobile GMV in Alibaba’s total GMV reached 67.5%. This clearly show how the users are increasingly purchasing online via their mobile devices. In Q4 2015, Alibaba mobile GMV reached $101 billion. This means over $100 billion worth of orders were confirmed using Alibaba mobile app or mobile website in a single quarter.

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