Zuckerberg: Facebook is now a mobile company, but we won’t build a phone

Facebook today revealed it had more active users in December, both daily and monthly, from mobile phones than desktops for the first time ever. Of its 1.06 billion monthly active users (MAU) at the end of December 31, 680 million of them came from mobile phones. In other words, while Facebook’s overall MAU increased 25 percent year-on-year, its mobile MAU increased by 57 percent during the same period. Ditto for its 618 million daily active users, more than half of which came from mobile phones, Facebook said without revealing any specific mobile user numbers.

“Today there is no argument that Facebook is a mobile company. We started the year with essentially no ads on mobile but in the last quarter mobile ads accounted for 23 percent of our ad revenues,” Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook founder and CEO, said during the earnings call. These numbers don’t include Instagram users, which the company said is growing steadily.

Zuckerberg also took this opportunity to dispel any remaining notions about Facebook building its own phone, which was widely expected to be announced earlier this month when Facebook instead announced Graph Search. He maintains that making a phone does not make sense for the company when it can make apps across platforms and bring Facebook to a wider user base. “We are not going to build a phone. Even if we sell 10 million units, it is just 1 percent of our user base,” he said while answering a question during the earnings call.

According to Zuckerberg, Facebook is “just getting started” on mobile and the company will continue to develop more mobile products in 2013, with iOS and Android being the biggest drivers. However, as Facebook enters search and as COO Sheryl Sandberg claims offers better targeted ads than Google, “as users sign in with their real identities,” tensions with Google are becoming apparent.

“Android is a very open and dynamic platform, till Google keeps it that way. Our relationship with Google isn’t such where the companies really talk,” Zuckerberg said while answering another question, showing strained relationship between the two companies.