Facebook predicted to overtake Google in mobile display ad revenue this year

Facebook Mobile Ad Revenue

Shares of Facebook (FB) have begun to rebound since the company’s disastrous initial public offering this past May. After opening at $38 per share the company’s stock plummeted into the mid-20s over the summer months and eventually fell to a low of $17.55 in early September. Since then, however, Facebook shares have begun to bounce back after the company posted better-than-expected results in the third quarter. While Facebook stock is still down more than 25% on the year, it is rising steadily as analysts and investors become increasingly bullish about the company’s future as a leading advertising platform.

According to a new report from eMarketer, Facebook is predicted to surpass Google (GOOG) in mobile display advertising in 2012. Google is expected to generate $339 million in mobile ad revenue this year, a significant increase from previous estimates of between $45 and $100 million. The research firm notes that Facebook is expected to capture an 18.4% share of the mobile display ad market in the U.S. this year, compared to Google’s 17% share, which is down from 23% in 2011.

“Major ad publishers are strengthening their offerings much faster than previously expected,” said Clark Fredricksen, vice president of communications at eMarketer. “I don’t think anybody thought after the second quarter that Google and Facebook would be in position that they are now in the mobile ad marketplace.”

The company’s mobile ad revenue is expected to more than triple by 2014 when it will reach an estimated $1.2 billion. The firm predicts that Facebook and Google will continue to battle for the No.1 spot in the mobile ad market over the next few years. Facebook is expected to increase its lead to 25.2% in 2013, compared to Google’s 19.6% share. Google is estimated to bounce back in 2014, however, with a market leading 23.1% share, ahead of Facebook’s 22.7% share.

Despite the impressive numbers, eMarketer notes that mobile still represents a small slice of the total advertising market. In 2012, only 2.4% of total ad spending in the U.S. is expected to go towards mobile ads, but the market is expected to reach an 11% share by 2016 when it surpasses both radio and print spending.

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