Facebook Ad Surge Reflects Impact of Big Data

Facebook Inc.FB -2.92%’s ad revenue surged during the fourth quarter, following Big Data trials that were designed to help the company target messages more effectively.

As the WSJ’s Reed Albergotti reported today, “overall revenue increased 63% to $2.59 billion, above the $2.33 billion analysts were expecting, as more marketers flocked to Facebook ads in hopes of reaching its unrivaled 1.2 billion users. Revenue from advertising grew 76% from the prior year to $2.34 billion.” Mobile accounted for 53% of ad revenue, up from 49% in the third quarter.

The growth in advertising reflects a huge increase in the amount of user data that Facebook can store and analyze. As CIO Journal reported in October, Facebook has been experimenting with technology that can record everything that users do on the site—including how much time their cursor hovers over a particular spot on a page

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