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More than half of Facebook users now connect to the site with just a mobile phone

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Fresh off a blockbuster quarter for the social networking giant, a deeper dive into Facebook’s numbers for the first quarter of 2016 shows that its users are increasingly turning to their phones to access the site.

54 percent of all active users logged on to Facebook only through the company’s mobile site or app in the past 30 days, a 3 percent increase over the previous quarter. These mobile users use the site just as frequently as those who use the desktop site; in both cases, about two-thirds log on at least daily.

There’s a reason for the surge of Facebook’s mobile-only growth. A majority of new users come in areas outside of North America and Europe. In these regions, household broadband is much less common, and the mobile phone is either the primary or sole method for connecting to the internet.

Facebook itself said in financial filings that it added 71 million mobile-only users in the first quarter of 2016, only highlighting the growth it has seen outside of its core North American-European user base.

With the mobile app becoming ever more full-featured, these users (and even a significant portion of users from areas where desktop broadband is more prevalent) really don’t need to use the desktop site. As a general rule, worldwide, we’re spending much more time on the site, about 50 minutes a day on average.

So where does Facebook go from here? Likely an even bigger focus on mobile. The company is scooping up mobile app companies left and right — WhatsApp is a recent high profile example — and continuing focus on expanding its mobile ads business. It’s now a multi-billion dollar business for the company, with $5.2 billion in earnings in the last quarter alone and 79 percent of all ad revenue. This serves to highlight consumers’ increasing use of mobile content.

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Ed Oswald
For fifteen years, Ed has written about the latest and greatest in gadgets and technology trends. At Digital Trends, he's…
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