Facebook revenue tops expectations off the back of rising mobile ad sales

 
Rebecca Smith
Facebook boss Zuckerberg also announced plans to hire 3,000 new staff to review videos and images
Facebook boss Zuckerberg also announced plans to hire 3,000 new staff to review videos and images (Source: Getty)

​​Facebook topped analyst expectations tonight with revenue of $8bn (£6.2bn), boosted by bumper mobile ad sales.

Read more: Facebook should not be "arbiter of truth" says Sheryl Sandberg

The figures

Smartphone ad sales made up 85 per cent of the firm’s ad revenue, up from 82 per cent for the same time last year.

It comes off the back of better than anticipated results from rival Alphabet, which also noted strong advertising growth.

Facebook reported earnings per share of $1.04.

Revenue topped expectations at $8.03bn. Analysts had expected growth of 42 per cent to $7.83bn.

Facebook’s user base crept closer to 2bn, hitting 1.94bn monthly active users in the first quarter.

Facebook said it will now stop reporting earnings per share, as well as non-GAAP expenses, income and tax rate.

Why it's interesting

The results came on the same day that Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg announced the company’s plans to hire 3,000 new staff to review videos and images after a series of violent acts were streamed live on the site. Zuckerberg said his firm will add to its community operations team to review “the millions of reports we get every week, and improve the process for doing it quickly”.

He added: “If we’re going to build a safe community, we need to respond quickly.”

The site has faced criticism for failing to tackle violent content being streamed, as well as the rise of “fake news”. Earlier this week, MPs on the UK’s Home Affairs Select Committee said Facebook, Google and Twitter were “shamefully far from taking sufficient action” to prevent fake news from going viral via their websites.

What the company said

"We had a good start to 2017," said Mark Zuckerberg. "We're continuing to build tools to support a strong global community."

Read more: Facebook is hiring 3,000 people to screen videos and live streams

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