Inferring Facebook's Mobile Use Via Bit.ly


Analysts estimates are always interesting to read - especially if you know the real statistics which they are trying to prophetize.

Even when someone releases "official" statistics, they're usually hard to verify independently, and even harder to analyse by region.

Benedict Evans - who I've had the pleasure of meeting at Mobile Monday - published some very interesting official stats on Facebook's mobile usage.
Enders Facebook Stats-fs8
The statistics show that roughly 44% of Facebook use is "not mobile".

How does that chime with reality?

I've talked before (incessantly!) about how leaky bit.ly is - they allow anyone to view detailed statistics about your marketing campaigns. Why people continue to use them, I've no idea. But, luckily for us, it allows us to get a fairly balanced view of Facebook's userbase.

UK supermarket Tesco have been running this "sponsored story" on Facebook. I assume that it is being pushed out to a large and broadly representative sample of UK Facebook users.
Tesco Facebook Campaign

Using Bit.ly we can see the clickthrough statistics.
Facebook Mobile Stats
You can click on the image for a live view of the stats.

Having run my own tests, it appears that clicks on a Bit.ly link from the Android or iOS app appear as though they come from m.facebook - as do clicks from the mobile web site. So we can't break down the stats any further. That said, it's always useful to get a secondary data point.

People are sharing your links on Facebook. Over half the people clicking on them will be doing so from a mobile phone. Does your site provide a great mobile experience? If not - it's time to up your game.

3 thoughts on “Inferring Facebook's Mobile Use Via Bit.ly

  1. "Over half the people clicking on them will be doing so from a mobile phone". Surely that should be from a mobile *device* - can you break down from bit.ly whether the traffic comes from phones or tablets? Even if you could, I imagine that would be hampered by phablets...!

    1. An excellent point, Mac. Thanks.
      There are some URL shortners like goo.gl which will show you the Operating System (so iOS, Android, Symbian etc). But there are none that I can think of which break down the data by individual model.
      As for phone vs tablet vs phablet - is a laptop teathered to an iPhone via 2G counted as a "mobile device"?

What do you reckon?

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