MARK ZUCKERBERG'S BOUNTIFUL HERD has swelled to an active 1.7 billion users, making Facebook a pretty damn popular place for advertising and data hauling social media users.
It's something to celebrate at Facebook HQ, perhaps, but people who look down on the social network and its practices will not be impressed. That is a lot of people using something that mostly appears to serve an advertising industry and makes its money from people and the things that they do, and the things that they 'like'.
The swell in numbers was revealed by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, presumably while stroking a white cat and wondering how baldness would suit his face. He did it during a conference call about Facebook's financial results. We got a copy of the headline figures direct from the PR wangs at the firm.
Most of the talk is about how ruddy well Facebook is doing, and we can tell you that the firm's advertising business is fruitful. The numbers beat analysts' expectations (what are those people paid for?) and Facebook posted the sort of advertising gains that made us triple check the figures.
Facebook earned $2bn (£1.5bn) in the recent quarter, an increase on the $719m sucked in during the same period in 2015. In fact, everything is on the up and up.
Total revenue grew by 59 per cent year on year to $6.4bn, and advertising revenue was up 63 per cent to $6.2bn. Mobile ad revenue was $5.2bn, up 81 per cent and accounting for 84 per cent of total ad revenue.
None of this happens without members, of course, and the headcount at Facebook increased as well. Some 1.1 billion people use the site each day, and over one billion do so via a mobile device and, we suspect, while on the toilet. Time spent on Facebook, Instagram and Messenger also increased.
The firm explained that it will spend the next three years trying to increase the size of the herd (Lord help us) and expects things like the recently shown off space laser to play a large role in this.
Live Video, a recent option pitched directly at everyday Facebook users, has also got a lot of zeroes worth bragging about. A video of a woman sitting in a car wearing a mask and laughing like a maniac picked up 160 million views, apparently.
We live in strange and confusing times. µ
So that's why she's smiling…
How many Zuckbucks to the pound?
Alexa, is this exploitation?