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Facebook profit surges, closing in on two billion monthly users


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Facebook profit surges, closing in on two billion monthly users

The number of people Facebook says log on to it every month has hit a new record – 1.94 billion.

The dominant social media network revealed that new total as it reported surging quarterly profit and revenue.

But Facebook’s shares fell in value as it said expenses would continue at a high level, squeezing future profits, and it also warned of a significant reduction in advertising growth this year.

That is because it is reaching the maximum number of adverts it can squeeze onto users’ pages before they find them too intrusive and become fed up with them.

As a result it is searching for new types of advertising features to create additional revenue, such as ads that play in the middle of videos or appear on Facebook’s Messenger app.

Revenue from mobile devices continues to rise and accounted for about 85 percent of the money it made from adverts in the first three months of 2017.

The results were released just hours after Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg said it was hiring 3,000 more people to monitor the site to try to stop videos showing murder, suicide and other violent acts being posted on it.

The move is an acknowledgement by Facebook that it needs more than its recent focus on automated software to identify and remove such material.

“We’re working to make these videos easier to report so we can take the right action sooner – whether that’s responding quickly when someone needs help or taking a post down,” Zuckerberg said.

The numbers

  • Quarterly profit in the first three months of 2017 rose 76.6 percent year-over year to $3.06 billion (2.8 billion euros) and total revenue went up 49 percent to $8.03 billion (7.35 billion euros).
  • Some 1.94 billion people were using its service monthly as of March 31 – up 17 percent from a year earlier.
  • Mobile ad revenue accounted for about 85 percent of the company’s total advertising revenue of $7.86 billion (7.2 billion euros) in the first quarter ended March 31, compared with about 82 percent a year earlier.

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