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Staggering growth at social media company

Facebook now used by a billion people every day

FacebookFacebook, the world’s biggest social media company, turned in impressive third quarter figures showing that it now has a billion daily users of the service, most of them on mobile devices.

This increasing switch to mobile is also reflected in advertising sales, once considered a problem area for Facebook. This sector played a big part in lifting revenue at the company by 41% to $4.5bn (£2.9bn).

Shares rose about 4% in after-hours trading as the figures were ahead of analysts’ expectations. Facebook shares touched $107.75, valuing the company at $303.6 billion, bigger than General Electric which at the close was worth $299.1bn.

Advertising made up the greater share of revenues,  up 45% on the previous year and nearly 80% came from mobile advertising, against abut 66% last time.

The company has also seen a 14% rise in its monthly active users to 1.55 billion. Of these, 1.39bn used the service on mobile devices, a 23% rise on a year earlier and a significant indicator of shifting user habits.

Facebook has seen daily users rise by 17% to 1.01bn  and 894 million of them are mobile users. Three years ago, before Facebook went public, fewer than 500 million were using it on their phones.

The company owns Instagram but these figures concern only the Facebook business. Analysts will note the advances in all its metrics against stagnating figures at Twitter.

Founder Mark Zuckerberg said: “We had a good quarter and got a lot done.

“We’re focused on innovating and investing for the long term to serve our community and connect the entire world.”

Tech companies now dominate the handful of US stocks with market capitalisations above $300bn.

Apple is the biggest at $683bn, followed by Google parent Alphabet at $515bn,  Microsoft at $433bn and both Facebook and Amazon just edging into the $300bn club.

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