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Facebook Reaches 1.86 Billion Monthly Users, Generates $10 Billion Profit in 2016

Facebook keeps raking in the profits, thanks to ever-growing user numbers: The company reported Wednesday that it now has 1.84 billion monthly active users, and that it generated more than $10 billion in net income in 2016.

Facebook revealed these numbers as part of its Q4 2016 earnings report, which showed that the company generated $8.8 billion in revenue during the last three months of the past year, compared to $5.8 billion during the same quarter in 2015. Facebook clocked close to $3.6 billion in net income for the quarter, compared to $1.6 billion during Q4 of 2015.

This equals earnings per share of $1.41, compared to $0.79 a year ago. Analysts expected earnings of $1.30 per share, and revenue of $8.5 billion.

Facebook’s biggest money-maker continues to be mobile advertising, with 84% of all advertising revenue now coming from mobile ads, compared to 80% a year ago.

Equally impressive are Facebook’s usage numbers: The social network attracted 1.23 billion daily active users in December on average, including 1.15 billion mobile daily actives, with the latter being up 23% year-over-year. And 1.74 billion of Facebook’s 1.86 billion monthly active users were on mobile devices for at least some of their visits.

Interestingly, Facebook sees most of its growth outside of the U.S. these days. Daily active users only grew by 6.5% year-over-year in the U.S., but by 28% in Asia. At the same time, Facebook was able to significantly grow its revenue for U.S. users, from $3 billion in Q4 of 2015 to $4.6 billion in Q4 of 2016.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg used the company’s earnings call to once again stress the importance of video, calling it a “mega-trend.” However, he said that the company isn’t putting too much of an emphasis on long-form video content any time soon, and instead called short-form video “the primary focus for the foreseeable future.”

Asked about virtual reality, Zuckerberg reiterated that it will take time for that market to mature, ruling out any profits in the near term. He did praise Samsung for shipping 5 million Gear VR headsets, which are powered by Facebook’s Oculus software. But also acknowledged that Oculus has had its share of troubles last year, calling the delay of both the Rift headset and the Touch controller “a little disappointing.”

Interestingly, investors didn’t have a single question about the $500 million verdict against Oculus and some of its officers that a Texas jury handed down just minutes before the company reported its earnings on Wednesday. Oculus separately announced its intent to appeal the ruling Wednesday afternoon.

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