31 Jan 2013, Gareth Morgan , V3
Facebook has shown hints it's getting to grips with the shift to mobile, as it posted a 40 percent boost in revenues and the number of mobile users rocketed 57 percent.
For its quarter ending 31 December, Facebook reported revenues of $1.59bn up from the year ago quarter of $1.13bn. Meanwhile, annual revenues were up from $3.71bn in 2011 to $5.09bn in 2012.
The social network's growth was highlighted by its continued growth in its user base. The total number of active users in December reached 1.06 billion, up 25 percent compared to a year earlier.
Crucially for Facebook, the use of its network via mobile devices blossomed: with 680 million users accessing it via their smartphone or tablet in December 2012 – the first time mobile users had topped desktop users.
“In 2012, we connected over a billion people and became a mobile company," boasted Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook chief executive.
"We enter 2013 with good momentum and will continue to invest to achieve our mission and become a stronger, more valuable company."
Following its initial public offering last year, some market watchers had expressed doubts about Facebook's ability to generate mobile revenues – an increasingly important market, as consumers shift to access internet services via smartphones and tablets.
But it's latest results show that around 23 percent of its advertising revenue came from mobile.
Nonetheless, the costs of its emphasis on mobile has been clear. Profits at the social network have slumped.
In its fourth quarter of 2012, profits were down to $64m compared to $302m in the year-ago quarter – almost an 80 percent drop. For its full year, profits at Facebook were down to $53m compared to $1bn for 2011.