RenRen to Catch up on Mobile Trend

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Huge traffic doesn’t always point to big revenue, not if it’s coming from the mobile end in Facebook’s case. As of now more than 60% of the traffic of the world’s most popular social networking service is funneled through mobile devices, making the monetization issue even worse for Facebook given limited ad space on mobile screens.

Renren, the Chinese counterpart of Facebook, apparently also had the same problem of sluggish transition to a mobile era. Mr. Joseph Chen, CEO of the company once addressed to its staff that Renren should turn all its offerings into apps as 2012 ushered in the mobile Internet era in China.

He also mentioned that the company should spend 80% of its efforts on primary business and 20% on new business with affordable risks.

In May, 2012, RenRen launched its revamped RenRen mobile client with simplified features. Now more than 60% of Renren users log into the service from mobile devices. And the number is expected to hit 80% in the foreseeable future to make mobile traffic surpass the service’s desktop traffic.

Mobile games is also a new direction Renren focuses on recently for the sake of nice looking quarterly report.

In Q3, RenRen profited US $ 24.2 million from game business, up 120.2% yoy. ARPU for Renren game in Q3 reached $US 100. Looks good for a game business in this trade.

By the end of 2012, almost all RenRen offerings already have their mobile counterparts, including apps for Renren.com, Nuomi.com (daily deal sites), 56video (video service) and a bunch of games.

As a testimony to its 20% spare efforts strategy, Renren also curated many small but interesting new apps, including various initiatives for social commerce, shooting videos and for streaming music. The latest one resembles Papa, thinking of an audio-based Instagram where you can share photos with friends but all comments are supposed to be recorded voices.

Renren reorganized its wireless arm earlier this year