Facebook: four out of five daily users log on via smartphone or tablet

Facebook is undergoing a mobile revolution with four out of five of the 24 million Britons who log on each day using a smartphone or tablet computer to sate their social appetite.

The social network has revealed that 24 million people – more than a third of the UK population – now visit the site every day, with 33 million doing so each month.

Of the daily users some 20m – 83% – use a smartphone or tablet to check updates on Facebook.

James Quarles, Facebook's regional director for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, said the UK was leading a 'massive shift to mobile' among its 1.1bn registered global users.

'People start the day with Facebook and especially in the UK, which is a very big mobile market, there is a very high percentage of people signing in on smartphones,' he said.

Facebook released its number of daily users in the UK for the first time on Wednesday, in part to combat suggestions that its growth has reached saturation point.

The social network has dismissed reports of a drop in visitors as 'unrepresentative' and said that mobile usage of Facebook in the UK had grown 20% compared with last year. 'It's to make clear our audience is growing both in size and engagement,' said Quarles.

The social network is also beginning to emphasise users' mobile engagement in a bid to drive advertising to people's handsets.

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has pinned the site's future prospects on its ability to capitalise on the rapid shift to mobile – and this year the focus appears to have started to pay off.

Revenue from mobile now makes up 41% of its total $1.6bn second-quarter advertising revenue, compared with just 3% in the same quarter of 2012, according to the company's latest financial results released earlier this month.

Quarles compared Facebook's mobile reach of 20 million daily mobile users to television juggernauts such as The X Factor, which made over £100m for ITV at its audience peak in 2010.

'If you think about tentpole television events like Britain's Got Talent or The X Factor, 20 million available throughout Facebook daily is double what that audience would be,' he said.

'We want to reflect to marketers that mobile is now a big part of the first screen. We have absolutely seen significant demand for it and as they consider places to follow time spent, the graduation to mobile is increasingly going to happen.'

Facebook's 33 million users in the UK dwarfs the latest figure reported by rival social networks such as Twitter, which said it had 10 million registered users in the UK last December, and eBay's 14 million active users.

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article was written by Josh Halliday, for theguardian.com on Wednesday 14th August 2013 07.00 Europe/London

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