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Facebook mobile ads boost revenue to $10bn for the first time in 2014

Advertiser demand for Facebook’s mobile ads over those from its rivals pushed revenue passed £10bn for the first time in 2014 as the business looks to video to protect its dominance of the channel.

The performance distils last year’s narrative that saw the social network’s revenues accelerate from quarter to quarter, while Google, Twitter and Yahoo’s slowed.

Facebook reported a 49 per cent year-on-year jump in revenue in the three months to December to $3.85bn, and 69 per cent of that came from mobile.

A year ago its mobile ads accounted for around half of its revenue but the business has seen the value of its offering swell as more users log-in from their smartphones. The number of people who sign-in from a mobile device at least once a month rose 26 per cent to 1.19 billion in the period, compared with a 13 per cent rise to 1.39 billion for the total amount.

The company has acknowledged video’s part in the growth, enabling it to charge higher rates in comparison to traditional ads on the site. Video use on the platform increased 75 per cent worldwide in 2014, while the amount of videos by brands in its New Feed rose by 3.6x year-on-year.

It caps off a year that saw the business lay the groundwork to put mobile at the centre of its efforts to go beyond its core social network offering. Mobile users now spend 18 hours each month on the service, a rapid rise from the standing start in 2012 - when mobile revenue was zero in the first quarter.

Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg, said: “We got a lot done in 2014. Our community continues to grow and we’re making progress towards connecting the world.”

Revenue smashed through the $10bn for the first time in 2014 at $12.47bn, up nearly 60 per cent on the pervious year.

The next 12 months will be a period of investment focusing on what Zuckerberg has said will be “large, strategic” ad tech investments to further premiumise its inventory. The business is understood to be gearing up to launch its own internal demand-side-platform in the quarter to compete with Google for ad spend around highly targeted ad revenue. It also plans to do more to show how ads on the platform can impact online and offline sales as it looks to push brands into paying for reach rather than relying on organic content.

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