No meaningful revenue
Facebook updated its IPO registration statement with information about the Instagram acquisition deal structure ($300M in cash, and 23 million shares). But something else caught my eye, that I glossed over the last time I read it: in the strategy section, after mentioning the Instagram deal:
We believe that mobile usage of Facebook is critical to maintaining user growth and engagement over the long term, and we are actively seeking to grow mobile usage, although such usage does not currently directly generate any meaningful revenue.
I think Facebook is terrified of the usage transition from desktop PCs to mobile. A billion dollars for Instagram, as an insurance policy to guarantee that the company will have an anchor in content creation on mobile, is worth every penny.
Revenue from mobile, at this stage, is practically worthless. It might even be less than worthless, because Facebook’s number one focus should be on engaging people on mobile devices as much as they have on desktop PCs. Anything else is a distraction.