Facebook (3)

Facebook has reported a trebling of its quarterly profits, sending its shares up more than 9% in after-hours trading. 

The social network posted a profit of around $1.51 billion for the first quarter, three times the amount posted in the same period last year. It came as advertising revenues rose to $5.2bn, of which 80% is generated through mobile.

Total revenues rose from $3.5bn to $5.4bn, with mobile advertising now accounting for 82% of the company’s entire revenue stream, up from 73% last year.

Facebook said it now has 1.65 billion active users a month, which trumped expectations from market analysts.

The company launched a couple of new features during the period; reactions and live video, which it says attracted new advertisers and higher engagement from users.

Its latest figures show that Facebook earned an average of $3.32 per user during the quarter, up from $2.50 last year.

Twitter contrast

Facebook’s performance stand in stark contrast to fellow social media firm Twitter, which saw its shares fall nearly 14% after yet another set of disappointing results.

Despite attempts to boost itself as an advertising platform, Twitter’s revenues in the quarter reached just over 10% of Facebook’s. And whereas Facebook has been able to turn its user base into meaningful profit, Twitter has struggled – reporting a loss this time around.

New shares

Following the results, Mark Zuckerberg said he has requested the creation of a new type of share, which will allow him to maintain control of the company, while giving away money earned through his ordinary shares.

In December last year, following the birth of his daughter, Max, Zuckerberg announced that he would donate 99% of his shares in Facebook, worth around £30 billion at the time, to the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative – a charity he and his wife Priscilla Chan set up to “advance human potential and promote equality in areas such as health, education, scientific research, and energy”.

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