Facebook has taken quite a bashing of late. Earlier this week it emerged that the world's leading social network had dropped 10 million users over the past 12 months. In addition, it appeared that Facebook's forays into mobile advertising weren't going as well as expected: the ads make less impact, argue the tech crowd, because the screens are too small.
In addition, the only real user growth in Facebook's mobile audience has come from developing markets where the ad revenues are significantly lower. This triumvirate of bad news sent Facebook's faltering share price yet lower.
Hence why doom-mongers across the globe will be shocked and perplexed as to how Facebook has managed to make a net profit of $219m for the January to March quarter. This despite a massive outlay on infrastructure and a hiring spree, contributing to a 60% jump in costs to $1.1bn in the last three months. And most of the extra cash has come from (you guessed it) mobile.
According to Facebook's latest filing, the company generated mobile advertising revenue of almost $375m over the last three months, up from nearly $330m in the previous three months and around $150m in the previous quarter.
The numbers have forced many analysts to make a u-turn on their predictions for Facebook's imminent fall from grace. 'They are making the transition to mobile faster than anyone anticipated,' admits Arvind Bhatia, an analyst with Sterne Agee. 'It seems like they are delivering.'
As Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg himself says, 'We've made a lot of progress in the first few months of the year.'
Facebook has also fought back against rumours of its decreased popularity, reporting an increase in users who access Facebook every day. These daily visitors are up 8% from December to 655 million. Looks like big blue hasn't beached itself on the shores of mobile after all...