Facebook was wrong to underestimate the rise of mobile back in 2011, according to Facebook’s COO Sheryl Sandberg.
Speaking at Cannes Lions, Sandberg has admitted that social media giant failed to predict the huge impact of mobile, but said usage on smartphones and tablets was now taking off and was “even bigger than we thought”.
Sandberg said that that Facebook made “a pretty big mistake” in not tailoring its site and advertisements for smartphones and tablets until 2012.
“We weren’t just late. We made a wrong bet,” she added, explaining that Facebook’s decision to build a single mobile app that worked across all devices, using a universal computer language called HTML5, had backfired.
Facebook has had much more success with “native” apps tailored for each operating system, such as Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android, and is now getting 59 per cent of ad revenues from mobile against virtually nothing two years ago.
“Mobile is even bigger than we thought,” said Sandberg, who cited research showing that people spend one in every seven minutes online on Facebook, but that rises to one in every five minutes on mobile devices.
Watch this backstage interview with Sandberg here: