Facebook's Revenue Per User Jumps 37%

Monthly active users: 1.94 billion, up from 1.86 billion last quarter.

The social networking giant gave some updated user figures as part of its fiscal first-quarter results reported late Wednesday, saying Facebook now has 1.94 billion monthly active users, while Instagram reached 700 million MAUs. Ad revenue rose 51 percent to $7.86 billion, accounting for 98 percent of the corporate total. If you look at net profits specifically, the jump is a little over $3 billion, which translates to a hugely impressive 76 percent growth.

Analysts on average had expected total ad revenue of $7.68 billion, according to FactSet.

For the first time, Facebook did not break out sales from mobile phone advertising, which have grown from nothing five years ago to account for nearly all of Facebook's business. The company reported $8.03 billion in revenue and a user base of 1.94 billion for the first quarter of the year. In Europe, revenue per user grew nearly equally strong, shooting up 36 percent to $5.42 per head.

Facebook shares fell 2.4% in post market trading after executives warned analysts that ad sales growth will likely slow "meaningfully" later this year while expenses increase by as much as 50% to pay for "significant infrastructure investments". The company is reinventing itself as a video-first platform, aiming to push into the TV market and offer a new kind of on-demand service. Those doubts are unlikely to stop Facebook's revenue growth in the first quarter.

Earlier in the day, Zuckerberg said the company would add 3,000 people over the next year to monitor and remove murders, suicides and other inappropriate material from its network, which have become a threat to Facebook's valuable public image.

'We had a good start to 2017, ' Facebook co-founder and chief Mark Zuckerberg said in the release.

"AI will get better over time, but it will take years to get to the level we want", Zuckerberg said. It will now need to concentrate on cultivating engagement across its entire product portfolio, including Messenger, Instagram, WhatsApp, augmented reality, video and its core platform. That adds to the 4,500 or so people who already make up Facebook's community operations team. The feature has been most popular on Facebook's Instagram, where it's used by 200 million people daily, more than Snapchat's entire app. At the end of the quarter, the company's cash and cash reserves stood at $32.31 billion, up from $29.45 billion as of December 31, 2016.

"With that foundation our next focus will be building community", he said.

  • Arturo Norris