Facebook beats nearly all market predictions as mobile pays off

Facebook has made its first ever billion-dollar quarterly profit - beating almost all market predictions.

Between October and December, net profits rose to €1.4bn. 80% of its profit during that period came from mobile advertising.

The social network reported revenue of more than $5.8bn for the final three months of 2015. Total revenue for 2015 now stands at more than €16bn, an increase of 44%.

The number of monthly active users – a key measuring stick – was also up, 14% on 2014 to 1.59 billion users.

Just over one billion of those use Facebook every day, and 934 million of those access the site on a mobile device, a crucial market as smartphones and tablets begin to dominate time spent online.

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Co-founder Mark Zuckerberg said of the results: “2015 was a great year for Facebook. Our community continued to grow and our business is thriving.

“We continue to invest in better serving our community, building our business, and connecting the world.”

The social network beat analyst expectations across the board, and cemented its place as the largest site of its kind in the world. The power of advertising was also emphasised as Facebook disclosed $5.6bn in revenue for the quarter, an increase of 57% on the same period in 2014.

Advertising on mobile devices accounted for around 80% of all advertising revenue, the social network also said.

The site has expanded rapidly in recent years – no longer just a social network, Facebook has since moved in to virtual reality with the purchase of Oculus, makers of the Rift VR headset, and the affiliate Internet.org company, which is using high-flying drones to bring internet connectivity to remote corners of the world.

Industry expert and founder of consumer technology website Pocket-lint, Stuart Miles, suggested that Facebook was benefiting from embracing the smartphone and tablet and the latest results meant the company could afford to try new things in the coming years.

“I think the results show that Facebook’s efforts over the last couple of years to really understand mobile have paid off,” he said.

“The success will give Zuckerberg plenty of leeway to explore new options and new revenue streams, like virtual reality, in the future without too much scrutiny.”

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