Mobile ads power Facebook’s growth

The social networking company’s profit more than doubled on surprisingly fast growth of its mobile ad business. Fred Katayama reports.

(Reuters) – Facebook’s mobile ad business is expanding surprisingly fast, and that powered quarterly earnings sharply higher. Profit more than doubled. The results amazed analysts because the social networking company had warned in November that ad growth would slow. Facebook said back then that there’s a limit to the number of ads Facebook can show each user.

But mobile advertising kept growing, and it now makes up 84 percent of the company’s ad revenue.

Many Facebook users are watching videos on their devices. CEO Mark Zuckerberg said Wednesday the company will invest more in video, especially short-form original videos. As a result, he expects to ramp up hiring and spending.

That video push could ultimately pose a threat to YouTube as well as to next-generation TV companies like Netflix.