Facebook profit jumps as user base nears 2 billion

Agence France-Presse

Posted at May 04 2017 05:29 AM

Facebook on Wednesday reported its quarterly profit jumped just over $3 billion as its ranks of monthly users closed in on two billion.

The leading social network said it made a profit of $3.06 billion on $8.03 billion in revenue in the first three months of this year, posting increases of 76 percent and 49 percent, respectively, compared to the same period last year.

Meanwhile, the number of people using Facebook monthly increased 17 percent to 1.94 billion, according to the earnings report.

"We had a good start to 2017," Facebook co-founder and chief Mark Zuckerberg said in the release.

"We're continuing to build tools to support a strong global community."

Facebook bested high expectations for revenue but fell short on profit, Shares fell about a percent to $150.25 in after-market trades that followed release of the earnings figures.

The California-based company's shares had ended the trading day down less than a percent ahead of the earnings release and as it put out word of plans to hire an extra 3,000 staff to remove violent content like the gruesome killings and suicides broadcast on its video platform.

The move ramps up efforts by Facebook to filter content amid growing criticism of the social media giant for allowing the platform to be used to promote violence and hateful activity.

Increased hiring also promises to push up operating costs and eat into profit at the social network. But advertising 

The world's biggest social network and a powerhouse in online advertising, Facebook has been working to diversify its revenue base as it expands into new areas such as messaging, artificial intelligence and virtual reality. But advertising still accounted for the vast majority of revenues, $7.86 billion.