Facebook nears two billion monthly users

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Facebook nears two billion monthly users

Facebook’s profits have jumped in the first three months of the year, as the social network closes in on two billion users, according to its latest results.

The US tech giant said profits increased 76% year-on-year to just over $3bn (£2.4bn) in the period.

That was helped by higher advertising revenues, particularly on mobile.

It also said the number of people using Facebook on a monthly basis had increased to 1.94 billion, higher than experts had predicted.

“We had a good start to 2017,” said Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg.

However, the company has come under sustained pressure in recent weeks over its handling of hate speech, child abuse and self-harm on the social network.

On Wednesday, Mr Zuckerberg announced it was hiring 3,000 people for its “community operations team” to review content on the site.

Ad slowdown

Facebook also faces challenges from slowing growth in ad revenue, which accounts for almost all of its income.

Chief financial officer David Wehner said ad revenue growth would come down significantly over the rest of 2017, as Facebook hits a limit on the number of ads it can squeeze onto users’ pages.

“It’s now clear that last year’s stellar results from Facebook represented the peak of online advertising growth, as Facebook had warned,” said Martin Garner, an analyst at CCS Insight.

Mr Garner said the company needed to start showing it could make more money from its other products, including Video, Instagram, Whatsapp, Messenger, and virtual reality.

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