Facebook’s Mobile Base Is 1 Billion Users Bigger Than All of Twitter

Social network is growing faster, too

Facebook now counts more than 1.3 billion mobile users, putting its smartphone-based audience at a billion more people than Twitter attracts as a whole. That is one of the most revealing numbers showing why Facebook is dominating the mobile-ad market while Twitter continues to struggle.

Facebook just announced its quarterly results, which beat expectations, with $4.04 billion in revenue and $719 million in profits. Ad revenue was up 43 percent over last year to $3.83 billion.

"This was another strong quarter for our community," CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in the earnings release. "Engagement across our family of apps keeps growing, and we remain focused on improving the quality of our services." 

Facebook has been a digital-ad juggernaut since its mobile transition that started about three years ago. It now makes 76 percent of its ad revenue from mobile devices, up from 62 percent during the same period last year.

A greater portion of Twitter's ad sales (88 percent) are from mobile, but total revenue is much lower. Twitter announced ad sales of $452 million last quarter. Twitter is in the midst of a CEO search and is trying to find itself in the process.

The company admitted yesterday it would still be some time before it could attract a mainstream audience outside of its enthusiastic core of tech elite and media and entertainment power users. Twitter has just over 300 million total users.

Meanwhile, Facebook, even with more than a billion users, is still growing at a more rapid pace. Monthly active users rose 13 percent to 1.49 billion, and 968 million people use the service daily.

The one downside for Facebook is its big spending, with the development of video on the platform and supporting acquisitions like WhatsApp and Oculus among contributing factors. Expenses were up 82 percent last quarter to $2.77 billion.