Facebook nears two billion users landmark

Advertisers continue to flock to the site, despite "fake news" controversies...

Facebook has released its final quarter results for the year and, like Apple earlier this week, it easily surpassed market expectations.

Revenues during the period soared to $8.8bn (€8.15bn), up more than 50% compared to the same period for the previous year and driven by huge growth in mobile ad revenue, which now accounts for almost 85% of its takings.

Net income or operating profits amounted to $3.5bn (€3.24bn) for the quarter and $10.2bn (€9.45bn) for full year.

The average amount Facebook makes from every user swelled to nearly $20 (€18.53), and when you consider its edging closer to having two million people around the world log on every month, that's big money.

Mark Zuckerberg's social network currently has 1.86 billion monthly active users.

The company's share price nudged upwards by just over 2% in after hours trading on Wall Street to $133 level...

The caution reflects Facebook’s reaffirmation that it expects ad revenue growth to slow down meaningfully during 2017, as it struggles to find room to place ads, particularly the growing volume of video. 

Investors are also curious to see how the group’s Instagram mobile photo app seeks to fend off competition from Snapchat, which is expected to launch on the New York stock market in the coming weeks.

Newstalk presenter George Hook tries out the Oculus headset

On the negative front, Facebook’s virtual reality company, Oculus, has been forced to pay $500m (nearly €463m) arising from a court decision yesterday

Facebook's virtual reality subsidiary has been fined nearly €470 million for violating intellectual property rights.

A court in the US ruled that the co-founders of Oculus infringed on ZeniMax Media's trademarks as they built their VR gear and software.

Zuckerberg has denied the firm stole any of its technology, while Oculus says it will appeal the decision.