Facebook Is Gaining Ground on Google In a Big Way

NEW YORK (TheStreet) - Advertisers are putting a lot of stock behind ads designed specifically for mobile devices as consumers increasingly use their smartphones and tablets to check their Facebook (FB) pages and do Google (GOOG) searches, but it seems as if Facebook is gaining ground on Google.

Global mobile advertising spending rose 105% in 2013 to $17.96 billion, up from $8.76 billion in 2012, according to data analyzed by eMarketer, a digital marketing, media and commerce research firm. Mobile ad spending is on pace to rise 75.1% to reach $31.45 billion in 2014, accounting for "nearly one-quarter of total digital ad spending worldwide," the New York research firm said on Wednesday.

Facebook in particular is gaining significant market share. The Menlo Park, Calif.-based social network accounted for just 5.4% of mobile ad share in 2012. Last year that percentage jumped to 17.5%. Facebook's share will rise to 21.7% in 2014, meaning that Google's domination will recede somewhat to 46.8%, eMarketer predicts.

In 2012, only 11% of Facebook's net ad revenues worldwide came from mobile. Last year, that figure jumped to 45.1%, with eMarketer estimating that mobile will account for 63.4% of Facebook's net digital ad revenues in 2014, it says.

Turning to Google, mobile ad revenue accounted for 23.1% of the company's net ad revenues worldwide in 2013. EMarketer estimates this share will increase to 33.8% this year.

That said, as mobile usage becomes even more ubiquitous, mobile ad spending will start to level off. Mobile ad spending is projected to rise 45.8% in 2015 to $45.85 billion and 33.9% to $61.4 billion in 2016, eMarketer estimates.

Ads via Facebook and Google accounted for a majority of the market growth last year, the report stated. The two companies combined saw net mobile ad revenues rise by $6.92 billion, approximately 75% of the additional $9.2 billion in ad dollars that were designated for mobile ads last year, eMarketer found.

Google is, by far, the largest holder of ad revenue share, locking up 49.3% of share in 2013. Facebook, Twitter (TWTR), Pandora Media (P) and YP, formerly known as the Yellowpages.com, round out the top five companies where mobile ad revenue is placed, according to eMarketer.

Twitter is also moving onto the scene, albeit at a much slower pace. The firm estimates that Twitter saw its share of the worldwide mobile advertising market rise to 2.4% last year, up from 1.5% in 2012. For 2014, eMarketer estimates Twitter will see its share rise to 2.6%.

Revenue taken in from mobile ads is clearly the future for Facebook and Google.

--Written by Laurie Kulikowski in New York.

Disclosure: TheStreet's editorial policy prohibits staff editors, reporters and analysts from holding positions in any individual stocks.

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