Facebook has surpassed analyst forecasts courtesy of a strong performance from its mobile ad business which saw quarterly profits soar to $3.57bn, up from just $1.56bn a year ago, on the back of $8.81bn in revenues for the period – up from $5.84bn a year ago.
The bumper figures come despite the network being at the centre of conversations around fake news as it sought to defend its role in promoting fabricated news during the US election.
In a separate blow, it also admitted that it had been giving advertisers inflated video metrics.
However, its fourth-quarter figures were comfortably ahead of where most analysts expected following a warning made in November that ad growth would slow as the network reached the maximum number of ads it can display to individual users.
In the end this prediction failed to come true however with Facebook buoyed instead by yet another surge in its mobile advertising revenues, which now account for 84% of all ad revenue – up from 80% last year.
To maintain growth chief executive Mark Zuckerberg has pledged to ramp up recruitment and spending over the course of 2017 as part of a new focus on short-form original videos and weekly episodic content.