Facebook closing in on 2 billion users

SAN FRANCISCO — Facebook said it's closing in on 2 billion users as it topped Wall Street estimates with first-quarter revenue of $8.03 billion.

Analysts had predicted Facebook would report revenue of $7.83 billion, up from $5.38 billion a year ago.

The social media giant recorded earnings per share of $1.04. Facebook no longer reports earnings on an adjusted basis.

"We had a good start to 2017," Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a statement.

Facebook added 80 million users in the first quarter, giving the service a tally of 1.94 billion who frequent the service at least once a month and a big boost in Facebook's ambitions to soak up billions more users around the globe.

Two-thirds of Facebook's monthly active users visit Facebook every day, the company said. The number of people who visited Facebook every day was 1.28 billion, up 18% year over year.

Jan Dawson, chief analyst with Jackdaw Research, told USA TODAY in February that Facebook was on track to hit 2 billion users later this year, a major milestone that no other Internet company has reached.

"Massive user growth year on year, and amazingly it’s accelerating despite the massive existing scale," Dawson said at the time. "It’s on track to become the first 2 billion-user company later this year."

At this rate of growth, Facebook will surpass 2 billion users by late June, Dawson predicted Wednesday,

That kind of global growth should translate into growth in advertising sales for Facebook. But Facebook's plans to stop increasing the number of ads shown to users in their news feeds in mid-2017 has concerned investors, who are eager to hear how the company will make up for any slowdown in revenue growth.

Facebook announced first-quarter earnings after the market closed Wednesday.

© 2017 USATODAY.COM


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