By Jonathan Davies

Facebook beat market expectations to report a profit of $701m (£462m) for the fourth quarter, up 34% from last year.

There was huge growth in Facebook's advertising revenue, especially on mobile. Overall ad revenue was up 53% to $3.59bn, 70% of which came from mobile.

Profits for the whole of 2014 increased to $2.9bn, almost double the total for 2013.

The social network giant also gained millions of users in the fourth quarter. It now has more than 1.39 billion monthly unique users, up 13% from last year.

"We got a lot done in 2014," said Mark Zuckerberg in a statement.

But the company's profits were somewhat held back by its investment in R&D. The amount of profit earned from each dollar of revenue was down from 44% to 29%. It spent $1.1bn in the quarter on developing acquisitions like Instagram, WhatsApp and Oculus Rift.

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