Facebook has reported a 43% hike in ad revenue to $3.82bn for its second quarter, while it estimates that half of the planet’s online population is now logging on to the social network at least once a month.
The company was reporting its results for the three months to 30 June, when total revenue exceeded $4bn – up from $2.9bn in Q2 2014 – driven mostly by mobile advertising, which accounted for 76% of advertising income, up from 62% in Q2 2014.
The 43% surge in ad revenues compared with the $2.68bn in the same quarter last year.
Costs and expenditures were significantly higher in the period, up 82% to $2.8bn due to what founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg described as “ongoing investments and improvements” (such as at its new data centre in Texas). The rise in costs hit profits, which fell 9.1% to $719m, from $791m in Q2 2014.
Facebook said that US users are spending more than one in five minutes on Facebook via their smartphones.
During an earnings call to investors and media, Zuckerberg said: “Helping marketers to tell more visually engaging stories through video and carousel ads is an important focus, as well as supporting small businesses.
“There are now more than 40 million small businesses and medium-sized businesses using Pages on Facebook, so we have a big opportunity to create value for communities all over the world.”
Zuckerberg also discussed the planned consumer launch of virtual reality headset Oculus Rift, which will ship in the first quarter of 2016.
“Oculus is going to be the best VR experience in the world when it launches, and I’m really excited for us to begin delivering on the promise of virtual reality,” he said.
Meanwhile, Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg said that 40m SMEs now have active Facebook pages and that Facebook is “increasing our engagement with the global [SME] community”.
She added: “We’re also building out our leadership teams around the world. In recent weeks we’ve added senior talent to our international teams, including a new head of Latin America and new regional leadership in several countries in EMEA. We also opened an office in Johannesburg – our first in Africa.
“Our third priority is making our ads more relevant and effective. Better, more engaging and relevant ads are good for people and marketers – and we’re working hard to improve them. We continue to innovate at a rapid pace by introducing new ad formats and new tools for marketers.”
According to data from eMarketer, Facebook is expected to grow its share of worldwide digital ad revenues from 7.93% in 2014 to 9.07% in 2015.