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Facebook says it will benefit from shift to mobile from TV

Facebook stands to benefit from a significant shift in consumer behaviour as people spend more time on mobile and online platforms than they do watching TV, according to the social media giant’s chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg.

Speaking on a conference call following Facebook’s first quarter results, Sandberg said that consumers spent more time on mobile and desktop devices than they did on TV last year for the first time. She said that US consumers spent on average five and three quarter hours “on digital” compared with four and a half watching TV, with the shift largely being driven by mobile.

“As consumer time and attention shifts, we think ad budget shift as well – particularly if you have good mobile ad products and you can measure results,” she said.

Sandberg said that marketers should be comparing return on investment across multiple platforms.

“We want them to compare us to the other investments that could make to see who can drive the most value to the bottom line and that’s what we are focused on,” she said.

Sandberg said that mobile platforms now account for 59% of Facebook’s advertising revenue, up 6% from the fourth quarter.

Addressing the question of whether Facebook would develop premium video advertising on its platform, Sandberg said that the company had “significant opportunities” but that “it’s still very early” and that the company didn’t expect meaningful contribution from projects including premium video this year.

“On video ads, video represents a really big opportunity, really driven by consumer behaviour,” said Sandberg.

“Smartphones are going better and faster and more people have phones that can provide a great video experience. So we’re seeing consumers do a lot more in video.”