Facebook posts better-than-expected results

<p>Facebook posted a profit of $512 million for the first three months of 2015.</p>

Facebook has exceeded analysts' expectations by posting a profit of $512 million (£341 million) for the opening three months of 2015.

The social networking giant's performance was a 20 per cent drop from the same period a year earlier but it was boosted by a 42 per cent rise to $3.5 billion. It also saw a 13 per cent increase in monthly active users from a year earlier with 1.44 billion people logging in the first three months of the year.

Facebook stated that it had enjoyed a 46 per cent increase in revenue from advertising to $3.32 billion with mobile advertising representing 73 per cent of this figure. Payments and other fees revenue had fallen by five per cent to $226 million from the same quarter 12 months earlier.

Founder Mark Zuckerberg described the figures as providing a "strong start to the year" adding that the company will "continue to focus on serving our community and connecting the world".

The latest trading update provided a boost to Facebook's share price which stood at 84.63 as of 09:27 BST.

Expansion of services

In March, Facebook announced that it would be expanding its Messenger service and opening it to third-party developers. The aim is allow them to add functions of their own and provide an extra incentive for smartphone users to access Facebook's Messenger service.

The social networking site confirmed that over 40 new add-on apps have already been developed and utilised in the service. A number of high profile organisations have embraced this option afforded by Facebook.

Among the new apps unveiled include Gifs sourced from sports TV service ESPN, still images from picture hosting site Imgur, audio files from Sound Clip, e-cards from the humour site Jibjab and forecasts from the Weather Channel service.

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