Facebook reports record quarter driven by mobile sales

A record fourth quarter for Facebook has proved the firm can tap into the rapidly growing mobile market

A record 2013 fourth quarter for Facebook has proved the social networking firm can tap into the rapidly growing mobile market.

Revenue was up 63% to $2.59bn compared with the last three months of 2012, driven largely by advertising revenue of $2.34bn, up 76%.

But revenue of $1.24bn from mobile advertising is what impressed investors the most, up 23% compared with the fourth quarter of 2012 and accounting for 53% of the total advertising revenue.

In response to the news, Facebook’s shares rose nearly 12% in after-hours trading, reports the Telegraph.

After 10 years in business, the social networking firm reported annual revenue of $7.87bn, up 55% compared with 2012.

"It was a great end to the year for Facebook," said CEO Mark Zuckerberg. "We're looking forward to our next decade and to helping connect the rest of the world."

Facebook reported 757 million daily active users on average for December 2013, an increase of 22% year over year, while mobile daily active users were up 49% to 556 million on average.

The company also doubled the number of users of Instagram, the photo-sharing website Facebook bought for $1bn in 2012.

Facebook plans to start introducing advertising on the service, but will do slowly to ensure that it does not put off those used to an ad-free service.

After a disastrous initial public listing in May 2012, market pundits said the future success of Facebook rested on its ability to tap into the mobile advertising market.

David Ebersman, Facebook's chief financial officer, said while mobile continues to drive growth, Facebook was still “in the early days of capitalising on this significant opportunity”.

“When we began 2013, we had more daily users on desktop than on mobile. By the end of the year, the number of users on mobile outnumbered desktop by around 200 million,” he said.

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