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Facebook’s mobile strategy paying off

According to Facebook’s third quarter results, published yesterday, revenue for Q3 (July to September) was up 60 per cent year-on-year to $2.0bn, and last year’s quarterly loss has been converted into net income for Q3 of $425m. It spent $369m on R&D and $233m on marketing and sales during the period.

The service now has 1.19bn monthly active users, an increase of 18 per cent year-on-year. Of these, 728m are daily active users, an increase of 25 per cent. Facebook fared even better with its move to mobile, reporting 874m monthly active users on mobile, up 45 per cent year-on-year.

“For nearly ten years, Facebook has been on a mission to connect the world,” said CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg. “The strong results we achieved this quarter show that we’re prepared for the next phase of our company, as we work to bring the next five billion people online and into the knowledge economy.”

Advertising revenue for the period was $1.8bn, up 66 per cent from Q3 2012, with mobile advertising revenue accounting for 49 per cent of this total. Payments and other fees revenue came to $218m. Infrastructure expense and increased headcount were the main drivers behind the 45 per cent jump in costs and expenses of $1.3bn.

This time last year, Facebook had 603m mobile users and was thought to have arrived too late to the mobile party. An increase of 45 per cent helps alleviate that fear. Also, it still has more mobile users than all the other leading OTT messaging apps that are after its business (see today’s other story). Facebook remains the world's largest social network. An increase next quarter of just 14 per cent will see mobile users break the 1bn barrier.

Also at this time last year, Facebook was generating just 14 per cent of its advertising from mobile, whereas now that figure is up to an impressive 49 per cent. In the previous quarter this year, it was reporting 41 per cent from mobile, so whilst the percentage growth is slowing, it’s still on the increase and should easily pass the 50 per cent mark by the end of the year.

“Facebook’s mission is to make the world more open and connected, and Facebook For Every Phone enables people around the globe to connect to the people and things they care about most, no matter what kind of mobile device they use,” said Facebook’s Growth Manager Ryan Makavy back in July.

“We’ve sent a team of people around the world to see what they use, and we care about everybody, not just tech geeks,” added Peter Deng, who runs facebook’s mobile app development team.

Late to the mobile party? Fashionably so, perhaps, but it’s now dominating the room.

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