Huge growth in mobile usage and advertising fueled a big quarter for Facebook Inc.
The world’s largest social network brought in $5.84 billion in revenue in its fourth quarter, up 52% from $3.85 billion the previous year. Profit more than doubled to $1.56 billion during the three months ended Dec. 31, up from $701 million a year earlier.
Facebook also reported that it now has 1.59 billion monthly active users, a 14% increase year over year, and that more than 1 billion people now use the social network every day.
An average of 934 million people accessed Facebook on their mobile devices daily, an increase of 25% year over year.
The results handily beat the Street’s expectations: Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had projected that Facebook’s revenue would be $5.37 billion.
The Menlo Park, Calif., company announced its earnings after the markets closed. The strong results buoyed its stock, with after-hours trading up more than 7%. During regular trading, shares closed at $94.45, down 3%.
Facebook’s advertising revenue soared 57% to $5.6 billion.
As with previous quarters, mobile advertising represented the bulk of Facebook’s advertising revenue, totaling about 80% of all ad revenue. That was up from 69% of advertising revenue in the fourth quarter of 2014.
“2015 was a great year for Facebook. Our community continued to grow and our business is thriving,” Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a statement. “We continue to invest in better serving our community, building our business and connecting the world.”
On a call with analysts, Zuckerberg also revealed that 800 million people now use its Messenger service, and it plans to expand its WhatsApp messaging platform to let users communicate with businesses.
“Our strategy is working, and we have many more opportunities ahead,” he said. “We’re going to continue investing to deliver great results over the long term.”
Facebook on Wednesday also reported full-year earnings. The company’s 2015 revenue was $17.93 billion, up 44% year over year, and its profit for the full year was $3.69 billion, up from $2.94 billion in 2014.