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Facebook: 1.1bn daily users, video surges

Facebook now averages 1.1 billion users per day, according to its Q3 results, which also revealed the company made more money on mobile advertising alone than the whole business took in during the same period last year. The social media giant’s total revenue amounted to $3.4 billion (€3.1billion) during the third quarter.

Chief executive Mark Zuckerberg also revealed that Instagram has topped 400 million monthly active users, and that WhatsApp has passed the 900 million mark “and continues to be on a path to reach a billion users and beyond”.

Facebook attributed 78 per cent of its $4.29 billion advertising revenue to mobile. All revenue across the business amounted to $3.2 billion during the third quarter of 2014; this quarter, mobile ads alone accounted for $3.35 billion.

Mobile monthly active users alone were 1.39 billion.

Facebook also said its video views surged to 8 billion per day in the third quarter, from just 1 billion a year earlier, highlighting a rising threat to TV ad revenue.

The growth in video views presents the most significant near-term opportunity for Facebook as the company looks to grab a bigger slice of the TV advertising market, analysts said.

Meanwhile, Zuckerberg was guarded on virtual reality, saying that Facebook was “committed to Oculus and virtual reality for the long term”, but adding that he expected it to take a while before the company reaped the full benefits of its $2 billion investment in Oculus Rift last year.

“These kinds of new platforms take a long time to develop,” he said. “We think virtual reality and augmented reality could be the next big computing platform, but in terms of how other computing platforms have developed, the first smartphones came out in 2003, and in the first year BlackBerry and Palm Treo sold in the hundreds of thousands of units.”

He also said that while the company would initially look for footholds in the gaming market, he believed that coming investment outside games wasn’t coming any time soon. “We think the next thing that will be huge will be video and immersive experiences, both in terms of the content they share on Facebook today, and in terms of premium short-form and long-form. I don’t expect folks to be investing a huge amount in 2016.”

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