Facebook quarterly earnings soar 72% on mobile platform success

A smartphone user shows the Facebook application on his phone. Photograph: Dado Ruvic/Reuters
Facebook revenue soared 72% in the first quarter of 2014 as the company continued to shift its customers – and advertisers – to its mobile platform.
Comfortably beating analysts’ expectation the company said Wednesday that it had revenue of $2.5bn (£1.5bn) in the first quarter. Revenue from advertising totalled $2.27bn, an 82% increase from the same quarter last year. Mobile advertising revenue represented approximately 59% of ad revenue for the first quarter of 2014, up from approximately 30% in the first quarter of 2013.
Facebook said it had 1.28bn monthly active users at the end of March, up 15% year-on-year.The number of mobile monthly active users in March was 1.01bn, up 34% year-on-year.
The social networking company reported the results in a quarter when it has made some of its biggest bets. In February, Facebook bought WhatsApp, a messaging service, for $19bn. Last month it spent $2bn on Oculus, developer of virtual reality software.
"Facebook's business is strong and growing, and this quarter was a great start to 2014," said Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook founder and CEO. "We've made some long-term bets on the future while staying focused on executing and improving our core products and business. We're in great position to continue making progress towards our mission."
The company also announced that David Ebersman, chief financial officer, will step down. Ebersman, former executive vice-president and CFO of bio-tech firm Genentech, was hired in 2009 and helped Facebook through its rocky initial public offering. Ebersman is returning to the healthcare sector.
He will be replaced by David Wehner, currently Facebook's vice-president, corporate finance and business planning. Wehner joined Facebook in November 2012 from Zynga, where he served as CFO.
"David has been a great partner in building Facebook, and I'm grateful for everything he's done to help make the world more open and connected," said Zuckerberg. "David set us up to operate efficiently and make the long-term investments we need, and built an incredibly strong team including Dave Wehner, our next CFO. I look forward to working with Dave in his new role."
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