Now that Facebook Leads in Mobile, Where Does that Leave Google?

According to an article titled Facebook Better-Positioned in Mobile than Google per AppNexus Data, Says Oppenheimer, which was written by Tiernan Ray and published on May 6, 2014 on the Barrons web site, Jason Helfstein, an analyst with Oppenheimer & Co. “reiterates an Outperform rating on share of Facebook (FB) and a ‘Perform’ rating on shares of Google (GOOGL)”.

Mr. Helfstein bases his rating on some data he collected over a “call with ad broker AppNexus”. In my opinion this data is credible (I base my opinion on some points Mark Zuckerberg made during a webcast of Facebook’s latest quarterly earnings conference call. I wrote recently to this blog on these points). But the question of the long term benefit to Facebook of ascending to its new position as mobile advertising front runner, in my opinion, cannot be answered, at least as of yet.

In turn, I do not think it is possible to render an opinion on the question of what the long term impact will be for Google, as a result of this change in market leadership. The analyst community has emphasized the importance for online advertising media to demonstrate an ability to monetize mobile as a separate venue, or locale, for this type of business. But, in my opinion, mobile advertising consumers demonstrate a substantially different behavior pattern than online advertising consumers.

The result of these dissimilar patterns of consumer behavior is some products will benefit from the mobile advertising experience, while others will not. In my opinion the type of product best suited for mobile online advertising media will not bring with it, over the long term, the type of revenue for media players like Facebook and Google, analysts expect.

To put it rather simply, products requiring a considered purchase by consumers won’t play well on mobile devices. So, if Google has been dethroned by Facebook, who really wins and who loses? It is still too early to tell.

Ira Michael Blonder

© IMB Enterprises, Inc. & Ira Michael Blonder, 2014 All Rights Reserved

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