Facebook has posted an impressive set of results for Q1 2016. Revenues were 52 per cent up on Q1 2015 at $5.4bn (£3.7bn). Virtually all of this ($5.2bn) came from advertising, with mobile accounting for 82 per cent of this.
Monthly active users (MAUs) for the quarter totalled 1.65bn people, up from 1.4.4bn in Q1 2015. Mobile MAUs in March numbered 1.51bn, a 21 per cent year-on-year increase. Daily active users (DAUs) totalled 1.09bn people in March 2016, a 16 per cent year-on-year increase. Mobile DAUs in March numbered 989m, a 24 per cent year-on-year increase. The company said users were spending more than 50 minutes per day on Facebook, Instagram and Messenger.
Facebook also announced plans to create a new class of non-voting shares that will be given as a dividend to existing shareholders, enable CEO Mark Zuckerberg to sell non-voting stock to fund his philanthropic goals, while still retaining control of the company.
Zuckerberg seems to be keen to follow in the footsteps of Microsoft founder Bill Gates, who went on to found the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. In a note issued alongside the results, the Facebook CEO wrote:
“While helping to connect the world will always be the most important thing I do, there are more global challenges that I feel a responsibility to help solve — like helping to cure all diseases by the end of this century, upgrading our education system so it’s personalized for each student, and protecting our environment from climate change. That’s why Priscilla and I created the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative and committed to give 99 percent of our Facebook shares during our lives to advance human potential and promote equality.
“Today, Facebook’s board of directors is announcing a proposal to create a new class of stock that will allow us to achieve both goals. I’ll be able to keep founder control of Facebook so we can continue to build for the long term, and Priscilla and I will be able to give our money to fund important work sooner. Right now, there are amazing scientists, educators and doctors around the world doing incredible work. We want to help them make a bigger difference today, not 30 or 40 years down the road.”
The results sent Facebook shares up 9.5 per cent in after-hours trading on Wednesday to $118.39.