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Facebook's Explosive Growth In Seven Crazy Stats

Did you know a fifth of all time spent on mobile media in the United States is spent on Facebook and Instagram?

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A booming Facebook turned in expectation-beating financial results today, revealing a growing gulf between the company and its social competitors. Posting third quarter earnings after market close Wednesday, the company reported revenue of $4.5 billion, up 41% from $3.2 billion a year ago. That surpassed the $4.37 billion expected by Wall Street analysts. Net income was $896 million, up from $806 million a year ago.

Facebook included a slew of stats in its earnings filing and analyst call. Here are the seven most interesting bits of data:

Over 8 billion videos are watched on Facebook every day. That average is double the 4 billion daily video views Facebook reported in April. Caveat: Many of those videos autoplay within the News Feed. In November 2014, Mark Zuckerberg said Facebook would be mostly video within five years. The company seems to be well on its way.

Twenty percent of all time spent on mobile media in the U.S. is spent on Facebook and Instagram, according to Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg. Facebook has been working to bring different parts of the internet — such as news and commerce — within its walls. This creates a snowball effect: The more time people spend on Facebook, the more compelled companies are to play ball with it. As companies move within Facebook's walls (see: Instant Articles for media companies), Facebook becomes more compelling and people spend more time there.

Over 1 billion people use Facebook each day out of the 1.55 billion people that use it each month. That's a solid percentage of monthly active users that are also daily active users. That sort of widespread usage suggests Facebook is a utility for some, something that doesn't need to be fun to bring people back. As one ad agency CEO put it:

1 billion people use Facebook everyday and none of them think Facebook is cool.

Seventy-eight percent of Facebook's revenue comes from mobile advertising. Facebook collects a wealth of data that helps it accurately target advertising campaigns to people on any device they use. Much of the internet, on the other hand, is essentially taking educated guesses when running ad campaigns across mobile and desktop devices. This puts Facebook in the driver seat in the digital ad world. And it's pressing the pedal.

Facebook's Q3 Mobile Ad Revenue (as a % of Total Ad Revenue): 2015: 78% 2014: 66% 2013: 49%


Over 925 million people now use Facebook Groups every month. "Small social," as we call it, is starting to take off. Three months ago, Facebook Groups had 850 million monthly active users. It's added 75 million people in three months. Not too shabby.

WhatsApp is up to 900 million monthly users. That's up from the 800 million announced in April of this year. Facebook Messenger has 700 million monthly active users. Facebook's messaging game is strong.

Facebook added 195 million monthly users in a year. That is pretty much the equivalent of adding Brazil's population. So much for those who said Facebook was declining in popularity, or on the way out. If anything, it's only increasing its lead over the rest of the pack.

Alex Kantrowitz is a senior technology reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in San Francisco. He reports on social and communications.

Contact Alex Kantrowitz at

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