News Column

Facebook Grows Worldwide

May 2, 2013

Despite recent reports that Facebook is losing users in North America and Europe, the social networking giant yesterday announced that daily and monthly users were both up more than 20 percent over last year, while mobile users were up 54 percent.

The company reported earnings that suggested its mobile efforts may be paying off. It had first-quarter revenue of $1.46 billion, surpassing the $1.05 billion reported in the first quarter of last year. The company also had $219 million in net income, up from $205 million over the same period last year.

Facebook's earnings announcement did not address where the company was growing users. But Max Wolff, senior analyst at Greencrest Capital, said much of that growth has been in countries including India and Brazil, and warned that if Facebook has already reached a saturation point in key U.S. and European markets, it could be headed for trouble.

"I don't know necessarily that people are getting bored with Facebook; it may simply have peaked already in the U.S. because there are a lot of other alternatives now for people," said David Gerzof Richard, founder of BIGfish communications and professor of social media and marketing at Emerson College. "There's definitely a big movement toward chat apps like WhatsApp and Snapchat on smart phones, especially among young people who may not want their parents to see what's going on in their lives on Facebook."

The company also faces growing competition from LinkedIn, Twitter and mobile-specific apps such as Path, said Todd Van Hoosear, a principal at Fresh Ground in Cambridge.

Facebook's shares rose 1.6 percent in after-hours trading after its earnings release.

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Source: (c) 2013 the Boston Herald. Distributed by MCT Information Services

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