Facebook Reports Big Profits on Growing Mobile, Internet.org Use

The number of people around the world using Facebook daily is approaching 1.2 billion, with mobile users accounting for a large share of traffic growth, according to the company's third quarter financial results, announced yesterday.

Ad revenues jumped dramatically -- 59 percent over 2015 figures -- although chief financial officer David Wehner cautioned that growth is likely to "come down meaningfully" after mid-2017.

Overall, Facebook reported total revenues of just over $7 billion for the quarter that ended Sept. 30. Wehner noted the company is planning "aggressive" investments for next year, including ongoing data center expansion, as it pursues its long-term roadmap for continued growth.

Going forward, Facebook will continue to focus on three priorities: making the most of the growing number of mobile users, increasing the advertiser base and "making our ads more relevant and effective," chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg said in yesterday's earnings call.

Video Becoming More Important

Video is another area where Facebook is banking on continued growth, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said. While the social networking site has supported live video streaming since mid-2015, an update in April of this year boosted the service's capabilities with a new API and an improved mobile app.

"People are creating and sharing more video, and we think it's pretty clear that video is only going to become more important," Zuckerberg said during the call. "So that's why we're prioritizing putting video first across our family of apps and taking steps to make it even easier for people to express themselves in richer ways."

Facebook-owned Instagram also moved deeper into video this past quarter with the launch of Instagram Stories that resemble the photo- and video-sharing capabilities of Snapchat Stories.

In a post on his personal Facebook page, Zuckerberg said the number of Facebook Live users has grown four times since May,...

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