1. ITV Report

Facebook profits more than double in last quarter of 2015

Facebook has more than doubled its profits in the final quarter of 2015 with a 51.7 per cent jump in revenue compared to last year.

Facebook's revenue jumped 51.7 per cent partly due to an improved mobile app. Credit: Frank May / DPA/PA Images

Facebook also said it now has 1.59 billion monthly active users as of December 31st, which is up 14 per cent from the end of 2014, and of those, 1.44 billion used the service on mobile devices, an increase of 21 per cent.

The better-than-expected results are thought to be because of new advertising formats and an improved mobile app which led to a sharp rise in ad sales.

The company's total revenue rose to $5.84bn (£4.10bn) from $3.85bn (£2.7bn) a year earlier.

In total, Mark Zuckerberg's company posted revenue of $17.9bn (£12.5bn) in revenue for the year, up from $12.4bn (£8.7bn) in 2014, an increase of 44%.

2015 was a great year for Facebook. Our community continued to grow and our business is thriving.

We continue to invest in better serving our community, building our business, and connecting the world.

– Facebook Co-founder Mark Zuckerberg
Facebook also now has 1.59 billion monthly active users as of December 31st 2015. Credit: Jonathan Brady / PA Wire/PA Images

The company, which has the world's most popular smartphone app, has also benefited from a surge in video views that has attracted advertisers.

Facebook said mobile ads accounted for 80 per cent of total ad revenue in the quarter, compared with about 78 per cent in the third quarter and 69 percent a year earlier.

Apart from focusing on mobile, Facebook has been investing in other areas such as virtual reality, artificial intelligence and drones to connect the remotest parts of the world to the Internet.

The company has also begun monetising some of its other units, such as photo-sharing app Instagram, which surpassed 400 million users last year and began selling ads in September.