Facebook nearing 2 billion monthly users

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Facebook is creeping ever closer to two billion users according to its latest results, which also reveal rising profits for the first three months of 2017.

The company have revealed that the social network now has 1.94 billion monthly users, with almost 1.3 billion of these being daily users.

The US tech giant also reported a 76 per cent rise in year-on-year profits, with Facebook pulling in a shade over $3bn (£2.4bn).

Warnings were issued however, as the company state that ad revenue growth would inevitably slow down.

In recent months, Facebook has been criticised for what have been perceived as failings in its handling of self-harm, child abuse and hate speech posted online.

Earlier this week it was announced by chief executive Mark Zuckerberg that Facebook would be hiring 3,000 extra staff to manage the moderation of the site’s content.

The latest figures show that around a quarter of the world’s population are monthly users of Facebook, with the majority of the new users coming from outside of North America and Europe.

Zuckerberg spoke following the results, saying that its wide user base would enable Facebook to expand the site’s powers, with it able to move into politics, health care and TV.

“With that foundation, our next focus will be building community,” he said. “There’s a lot to do there.”

Revenue from advertising, which accounts for almost the entirety of Facebook’s income, grew over the period by 51 per cent to $7.9bn.

David Wehner, chief financial officer for the social network, has said that growth in ad revenue would significantly drop over the rest of the year.

He repeated warnings that Facebook was hitting a limit on the number of ads that can be squeezed onto users’ pages.

Martin Garner, an analyst at CCS Insight, said: “It’s now clear that last year’s stellar results from Facebook represented the peak of online advertising growth, as Facebook had warned.”

Mr Garner also said that the company needed to begin to evidence their ability to make money from its other platforms, including Instagram, Whatsapp, Video, VR and its Messenger service.