Facebook profits soar on mobile ad sales
Facebook's mobile advertising business grew by more than 50 per cent in the second quarter, the company says in its earnings report, as the social network continues to establish itself as the venue of choice for an ever-growing array of online advertisers.
Shares in Facebook, owner of four of the most popular mobile services in the world, rose more than 4 per cent to about $US173 in after-hours trading. Through Wednesday's close, the stock price had climbed nearly 44 per cent this year.
Facebook, which now has more than 2 billion regular users, has been squeezing more ads into its Facebook News Feed while adding more ads to its photo-sharing app Instagram, which has more than 700 million users.
With money cascading from those two services, Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg said the company was turning attention to monetising its two messaging services, Messenger and WhatsApp, which have more than 1 billion users each.
"I want to see us move a little faster here but I'm confident that we're going to get this right over the long term," Zuckerberg said in a conference call with analysts.
The company also is accelerating its push into video, an effort aimed at taking advertising dollars from the television industry and increasing the time people spend on Facebook.
Within weeks, Facebook is expected to start a video service that will include scripted shows, a sharp change for a business built on user-generated content.
Zuckerberg said video would be a significant driver of Facebook's business in the next two to three years.
With those possibilities still on the horizon, Facebook said total revenue rose 44.8 per cent to $US9.32 billion ($A11.64 billion) in the second quarter of the year. That beat the average forecast of $US9.20 billion among analysts tracked by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Growth was even steeper in mobile advertising, which increased to nearly $US8 billion.
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