Overseas advertising markets are now more lucrative for Facebook than the U.S. market, accounting for 51% of global ad sales in the first quarter, Reuters reported.
Total advertising revenue for the quarter increased 46% to $3.3 billion, the vast majority of Facebook’s $3.5 billion in quarterly revenue. International advertising revenue rose 36% from a year earlier.
“The next 1 billion consumers are going to come from these [overseas] countries,” Carolyn Everson, vice president for global marketing solutions at Facebook, told Reuters.
While Europe is growing slower than the United States, Facebook’s ad sales in the Asia-Pacific region in the first quarter scored the highest growth of any region. The social network is benefiting from exporters in China trying to reach people outside its country and from an influx of venture capital funding into India, giving start-ups funds for advertising.
Dan Neary, vice president of Facebook’s Asia-Pacific region, noted that Chinese businesses are getting more sophisticated about promoting their brands. “Increasingly manufacturers are becoming savvy marketers in their own right,” he said.
In India, Neary explained, many e-commerce startups are using Facebook’s advertising platform to reach new consumers. The company has optimized video and pictures for slower connections in India.
The first-quarter numbers mark the first time Facebook has detailed ad sales outside the United States and Canada as a percentage of worldwide sales. It had previously reported regional growth in percentage terms.
Mobile advertising represents more than 70% of Facebook’s total ad revenue, and mobile is particularly strong and attractive to advertisers in emerging markets, Everson said.
By comparison, Google has said that 57% of its first-quarter revenue was from international markets, but it did not break out ad revenue specifically.
Facebook reported passing the 1 million active advertisers mark in the second quarter of 2013, and it surpassed 2 million in February of this year.