Mountain View, California–YouTube mobile now accounts for 40 percent of all the video sharing site’s traffic, according to Google’s Q3 earnings report. This adds up to a 15 percent increase from the same period last year, when YouTube mobile traffic made-up only a quarter of the site’s overall traffic. The earnings report also beat Wall Street expectations, with the search giant raking in $14.89 billion in revenue and posting a net income of $2.97 billion.
The percentage also represents a huge increase from the third quarter of 2011, when the video-centric site got just 6 percent of its total traffic from its mobile interface. Hunter Walk, a former director of product management at the company, tweeted a big congratulations to his teammates, stating an early bet has finally paid off.
YouTube Mobile Following the Trends
Other sites have likewise get substantial traffic from their mobile properties. To put the numbers in some perspective, the reigning social network, Facebook, gets 73 percent of its traffic from mobile or 819 million out of 1.15 billion, up from 56 percent in 2012, 43 percent in 2011, and 32 percent in 2010.
The YouTube mobile team was formed in 2007, long before the potential of smartphones even begun to surface. The formation came as a sense it could serve as a revenue stream became more likely. Videos would automatically transcode from desktop to mobile, and the video site struck a deal with Apple to pre-install software on the iPhone.
Revenue Hopefully to Follow
The vexing piece of the puzzle haunting YouTube is the site, to date, is not a money-maker. Facebook faced the same challenge when it went public, disclosing in its IPO prospectus that it had not yet found a cohesive strategy for monetizing its mobile platform.
Back in March of this year, the video site reached 1 billion users, which kept it from being shuttered. Beginning in November, users will be able to save videos to watch at a later time offline, and the site currently supports a multi-tasking app which allows viewers to minimize a window, allowing the content to stream while continuing to browse the site. The company is also testing a pay-for-play feature.