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Asia Pacific region pushes Facebook’s monthly active users to 1.49 billion

Facebook, the world’s largest social network, grew its monthly active users (MAUs) to 1.49 billion in the three months to the end of June.

Announcing its second quarter results this morning, the company revealed that the Asia Pacific region was its best source of new users, up 21 per cent on the same period last year.

Like other established social media brands, Facebook saw more developed markets, such as Europe and North America, deliver relatively flat user growth at 7 per cent and 4 per cent respectively.

844 million mobile users accessing Facebook every day

Mobile monthly active users reached 1.31 billion, up from 1.07 billion in the second quarter of 2014. More impressively, 844 million people now access Facebook on a mobile device every day. That represents year-on-year growth of 29 per cent.

“This was another strong quarter for our community,” said Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. “Engagement across our family of apps keeps growing, and we remain focused on improving the quality of our services.”

Revenue topped USD $4 billion for the first time, with almost all of that coming from advertising. Quarterly revenue from other sources (USD $215 million) was in fact the lowest since the second quarter of 2013.

North American users still most profitable

North America remains Facebook’s biggest revenue driver. While growth has inevitably slowed, the region represents around one fifth of Facebook’s users, but contributes almost half its revenue.

Yesterday, Twitter announced disappointing growth in its monthly active users for the second quarter.

The popular micro-blogging site said it had reached 316 million monthly active users, representing year-on-year growth of 15 per cent.

Interim CEO Jack Dorsey said he was “not satisfied” with the rate of growth. While it is similar to Facebook’s, Twitter has some way to go before it reaches 1.49 billion users.

While Twitter’s major challenge is to find ways to grow its audience, Facebook is also working hard to role out new features and improve the user experience to keep its vast membership engaged.

Improvements to WhatsApp and Instagram

In a conference call with analysts, Zuckerberg said his company was focused on continuing to find ways to enhance its core Newsfeed offering, as well as the brands operating within the Facebook stable, such as Instagram and WhatsApp.

On Instagram, he said improvements to search and the addition of trending content meant the service was “becoming one of the best places to get a real-time snapshot of the world”.

WhatsApp now has an improved web-experience and VoIP services are now available to more users. “With WhatsApp, we’re pleased with our continued growth,” he added.

Facebook paid USD $1 billion for Instagram, the photo-sharing app for smartphones, in 2012. That figure was dwarfed two years later when Facebook acquired WhatsApp, a smartphone messaging service, for USD $19 billion.

Those acquisitions have strengthened Facebook’s position with mobile users and created more opportunities for adding new members, particularly outside of its most developed markets.

Facebook by the numbers

  • 1.49 billion (monthly active users)

  • 1.31 billion (mobile monthly active users)

  • $4.42 billion (Q2 revenue in US dollars)

  • 46 minutes (average amount of time users spend on Facebook per day)

  • 40 million (small and medium-sized businesses with a Facebook page)

  • 1 billion (Android downloads of Facebook’s Messenger app)

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