Facebook to expand beyond its 'like' button 'pretty soon'

Facebook also exceeded expectations with revenue of $5.8 billion in the fourth quarter, bringing its year-end total to $17.9 billion; analysts had previously estimated that Facebook would land less than $5.4 billion in revenue.

Fourth-quarter net income more than doubled to $1.56 billion, or 54 cents a share, from 701 million, or 25 cents, a year earlier.

The company also reported steady, if not spectacular, user growth - it now has 1.59 billion monthly active users, up 14 percent from the same time in 2014.

Now, however, it accounts for an unbelievable 80% of the company's overall advertising revenue.

Facebook, which makes most of its money from ads, raked in $17.93 billion in 2015, up from 44 percent in 2014. "They have shaken up multiple types of businesses and completely changed the way that people communicate".

"Mobile-only MAUs are defined as users who accessed Facebook exclusively through mobile apps or mobile versions of our website, or used our Messenger app, in the last 30 days of the given quarter", says Facebook, defining mobile-only users. Bernstein Research analyst Carlos Kirjner estimates that prices for ads in Facebook's main news feed in North America rose as much as 20 per cent past year. "We continue to invest in better serving our community, building our business, and connecting the world".

Facebook Inc. plans to carefully launch in the coming weeks the first major revamp of its signature "like" feature since its introduction seven years ago.

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

That's giving Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg more leeway to step up spending on newer initiatives including virtual reality and artificial intelligence.

"This was a feature that was right in the heart of the way you use Facebook, so it needed to be executed really well in order to not detract and clutter up the experience", he tells Bloomberg.

By any measure mobile user growth or advertising revenue Facebook is proving to be the template for Silicon Valley success story in the face of a roiling worldwide economy.

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