Facebook reports Q4 earnings of $3.56 billion on revenue of $9.32 billion

Facebook reported fourth-quarter earnings of $3.56 billion, up from $1.56 billion from the same period in 2016.

The social media giant reported revenue of $9.32 billion in the quarter, up 44.8% from the year before.

“We had a good second quarter and first half of the year. Our community is now 2 billion people and we’re focusing on bringing the world closer together,” said Facebook’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg.

Mobile ad revenue accounted for most of Facebook’s total ad revenue. Mobile ads brought in $8 billion in the latest quarter, accounting for 87% of total ad revenue, up from 84% the previous year. Total ad revenue was $9.16 billion.

Facebook said that it had an average of 1.32 billion daily active users for June 2017, a 17% increase year-over-year. The number of monthly users in June was 2.01 billion, up 17% year-over-year.

The company did warn investors that the number of ads it shows could peak in the second half of 2017 as due to limited space available to show ads in the News Feed.

Mark Zuckerberg said during the earnings call that he expects artificial intelligence to have a significant impact on how Facebook operates. He foresees AI agents replacing human moderators that flag offensive content, in addition to optimizing the best content to show users from Pages that users do not follow and improving ad targeting.

Zuckerberg also announced that WhatsApp now has over 1 billion daily users and 250 million daily users of the app’s new Status feature. However, he said he would like to see the business growth around Messenger and WhatsApp move a “little faster”.

David Wehner, chief financial officer, said that the company had the “two best performing mobile ad products in the market,” with Facebook and Instagram.

“We’ve seen particular strength with Instagram Stories and WhatsApp Status. Each of those has over 250m daily active users,” Wehner said.

Since the beginning of 2017 shares in Facebook have surged by 44 percent.