Facebook revenue soars on back of advertising

25 July 2013
By Edd Gent
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Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook's co-founder and chief executive, speaks at an event on April 4

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook's co-founder and chief executive, speaks at an event on April 4

Facebook has seen its second quarter revenue soar to $1.813bn (£1.18bn) – a 53 per cent increase on the same period last year.

The world's biggest social network made $333m in net income from April to June compared with a net loss of $157m a year ago, according to the company's latest financial results, and revenue was up from $1.184bn at the half-way point of last year.

An average of 699 million people used the social media platform every day in June, it said, an increase of 27 per cent on the same time last year.

The number of monthly users accessing Facebook on mobile devices – including smartphones and tablets – rose by 51 per cent year on year to 819 million in June.

Facebook founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg said: "We've made good progress growing our community, deepening engagement and delivering strong financial results, especially on mobile.

"The work we've done to make mobile the best Facebook experience is showing good results and provides us with a solid foundation for the future."

Facebook said it made $1.6bn of revenue from advertising, which was 88 per cent of total revenue and a 61 per cent increase from the same quarter last year, adding that mobile ad cash made up 41 per cent of advertising revenue for the first quarter of 2013.

Introducing video to Instagram, the photo-sharing and editing platform Facebook paid $1bn for last year, saw five million videos uploaded in the first 24 hours, the company said.

Jed Hallam, head of social strategy at media agency Mindshare UK, said: "Facebook has posted some very positive results this quarter, exceeding expectations based on its tumultuous last three months, especially through its mobile advertising platform.

"This is a clear sign that Facebook is starting to understand its role as a conduit between users and brands; from the slow decision around brand advertising being displayed on inappropriate pages, to the apparent delays on the video ad platform that's been rumoured for months, it hasn't been an easy three months."

Stuart Miles, founder of gadget review website Pocket-lint, said: "Strong revenues and improving mobile performance show that Facebook is starting to get things right even though Facebook Home, its attempt at a mobile operating system, seems to have stalled.

"With 1.15 billion users and millions using the site every day, Facebook seems to be pointing the ship in the right direction."

Simon Wharton, managing director of digital marketing agency PushON, said: "As a listed company, the fundamental challenge for Facebook is how to monetise the site without alienating its users. We're still to see if it's making progress in that direction.

"At some point soon we're expecting the world's biggest social network to announce video ads as the new big revenue builder. But while this will be seen as a positive by shareholders, Facebook is again focusing more on the money to be made from advertisers than the experience of its users."

Facebook was floated on the Nasdaq in May last year in what was one of the largest initial public offerings in history, netting co-creator Mr Zuckerberg more than a billion dollars, but its share price fell dramatically months later and it saw $4bn wiped from its value.

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