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Facebook's mobile ad revenue doubles in Q4

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Facebook's mobile ad revenue doubles in Q4
Confirming that Facebook's mobile strategy appears to be the right one, the company reported that it's mobile ad revenue doubled in the fourth quarter. CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that Facebook will continue to spend the big bucks necessary to lure talent to the company to build around its "mobile-first" services. The executive said that Facebook will not look to maximize profit this year, but is looking to the future to build a better service and company. Stifel Nicolaus analyst Jordan Rohan said that based on Zuckerberg's comments, analysts like homeself will have to lower expectations for 2013.

Finance Chief David Ebersman noted that two quarters ago, Facebook had no mobile ad revenue and "In the course of a pretty short period of time, we've dramatically ramped up our ability to monetize mobile." To keep up the development of mobile based services, Facebook will have to continue to spend money and 2013 capital expenditures are expected to rise to $1.8 billion, up 14% from last year's $1.575 billion. Expenses are forecast to rise 50% in 2013, a higher rate of growth than revenues are expected to rise.

Facebook is testing voice calls on its Facebook Messenger app, which itself was added in August 2011 as another SMS and email option for mobile users. The peer to peer VoIP calling feature is being tested by Canadian iOS users for now, but Facebook hopes to eventually roll out the service to its estimated 250 million mobile users. Facebook took only 12 days to build its Poke app which is designed to send messages with a very short life span. Messages, pictures, or video are sent that expire 1, 3, 5, or 10 seconds after being opened. A requirement that one finger needs to be on the screen to view the message prevents screenshots from being taken.

Overall, Facebook made $64 million or 3 cents a share in Q4, down from $302 million or 14 cents a share in 2011. Not including certain one time expenses, Facebook scored a 17 cents a share profit, compared to analysts expectation of 15 cents a share.

source: Reuters

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