Zuckerberg says company must ‘invest aggressively’ as Facebook reports decent Q3

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Facebook managed to pick up 30 million new users over the last three months, though the its rate of growth appears to be slowing. Still, that’s hardly surprising when you consider the site already has more than a billion members – 1.35 billion to be precise, with a whopping 864 million checking in daily.

The figures came with Tuesday’s publication of the company’s July-to-September earnings report, which painted a largely positive picture for CEO and founder and Mark Zuckerberg, as well as the company’s investors

That boost of 30 million new users marked growth of 2.3 percent over the previous quarter, lower than the 3.1 percent growth reported in Q2. However, more members than ever – 1.12 billion in all – are getting their Facebook fix via mobile, a platform vital for the company as it seeks to increase its ad-based income. Indeed, revenue from mobile ads accounted for 66 percent (up from Q2’s 62 percent) of all Q3 revenue, which came in at $3.2 billion. This showed a healthy 59 percent increase on the same period last year, and beat Wall Street expectations.

Q3 profit came in at $802 million, almost double that of a year ago.

While you might think the figures would’ve had investors dancing in the street, Facebook’s share price actually fell later in the day after the company outlined plans for major spending on new engineering talent and startup acquisitions.

In a conference call with analysts on Tuesday, Zuckerberg said “investing aggressively” was vital in order for the company to achieve its long-term goals.

Facebook’s ambitions currently extend into areas such as virtual reality, artificial intelligence, and bringing Internet connectivity to isolated locations around the world.

The boss of the social networking giant said that “products don’t really get that interesting to turn into businesses until they have about a billion people using them,” adding that his company has several services which, with continued investment, could make it there over the next five years.

WhatsApp, which has around 600 million users, is also thought to be causing investors some concern. The instant messaging app, acquired by Facebook in February for an eye-watering $19 billion, lost $233 million in the first half of this year, generating just $15.3 million in revenue from $0.99 annual subscription sales.

[Source: Facebook, WSJ]

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