The importance of mobile to Facebook’s current business and future growth was emphasised as the social network giant reported improved revenue and profit for the third quarter.
Mobile accounted for 66 per cent of all advertising revenue, compared with 49 per cent a year earlier and 62 per cent for the prior quarter. With advertising revenue totalling $2.96 billion (a 64 per cent year-on-year rise), this meant mobile generated $1.95 billion.
Overall revenue for the period was $3.20 billion, up 59 per cent compared to the same quarter in 2013. Net income was $806 million, a 90 per cent year-on-year increase.
In terms of usage, mobile daily active users during September hit 703 million, which was 39 per cent up on Q3 2013. In total, there was an average of 864 million daily active users, up 19 per cent.
Mobile monthly active users increased by 29 per cent, to reach 1.12 billion. Total monthly active users stood at 1.35 billion, up 14 per cent.
Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg said the company continued to “execute well” on the priorities of “capitalising on the shift to mobile, growing the number of Facebook marketers, and building products to make our ads more relevant”.
Mark Zuckerberg, the social network’s founder and CEO, said the company’s goal over the next five years is to take its next generation of services, which include Instagram, Messenger, WhatsApp and search, to help “connect billions of people and become important businesses in their own right”.
The company’s CFO, Dave Wehner, said the company has plans for 2015 to be “a significant investment year” as its looks to capitalise on the opportunities presented by Facebook’s next generation of services.
As such, the company expects total costs and expenses in 2015 to be between 55 per cent and 75 per cent higher than 2014.
Wehner also warned that expenses will grow by between 45 per cent and 50 per cent for 2014, compared to 2013. This was an increase from the previous forecast range of 30 per cent to 35 per cent, “primarily due to the impact of the WhatsApp acquisition on stock-based compensation charges in the fourth quarter”.
It was during the third quarter that Facebook finally completed its acquisition of WhatsApp for $22 billion.
A filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission revealed that WhatsApp actually made a $232.5 million loss for the first six months of 2014. This compared to a $58.8 million loss for the first half of 2013.
The income statement for the messaging app maker also revealed that the company’s revenue, which is largely based on subscriptions, totalled $15.3 million, compared to $2.8 million for the year-earlier period.