updated 07:45 pm EST, Mon February 27, 2012
Would share fees from games & music
Facebook may be willing to share some of its revenues with mobile carriers. Bret Taylor, the company's CTO, said in commentary on Monday that the social networking giant might be interested in giving a portion of the payments it received from selling games and music to the mobile service providers over whose network the purchase was made. Taylor made the revelation to an audience at Mobile World Congress.
Facebook currently has about 850 million users. Approximately half of these currently access the service using mobile devices. The company, however has not yet fully figured out a way to make money from these users, whether through ads or another source. Most of its $3.7 billion in revenues last year came from ads viewed on traditional computers. Apple and Google, two of the biggest mobile apps providers, currently charge a 30 percent fee for selling apps through their stores. Facebook would consider sharing a portion with this percentage with carriers.
Some of Facebook's concern has come from the effect Zynga has on its revenue. The FarmVille developer makes up a substantial minority of Facebook's revenue, and its turning to native apps on Android and iTunes has cut Facebook out of a stream of income that it might have if it could get ad-sponsored or even paid web apps instead.