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Facebook Results: social network crushes Q3 as WhatsApp nears a billion users

Facebook on Wednesday announced its Q3 results and while they were financially impressive — revenue for the quarter was up 45% on the same quarter a year ago — they were important for a whole host of other reasons.

For starters, the social network now has more than 1.5-billion monthly and 1-billion daily users. According to at least one source, that means that Facebook has more daily “customers” than any company has ever had. Now you could argue that Facebook’s real customers are the companies it sells advertising to, but still how many other products can offer advertisers the chance at a billion users a day?

WhatsApp meanwhile continues to grow at an incredible pace. The simple instant messenger now has more than 900-million active users, making it the second largest social network on the planet.

“We had a good quarter and got a lot done,” said Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook founder and CEO. “We’re focused on innovating and investing for the long term to serve our community and connect the entire world.”

Read more: Facebook revamps notification tab, makes it more Google Now card-ish

In fact, if an infographic shared by Zuckerberg is anything to go by, there’s plenty for the social network to be happy about: Messenger and Pages have both survived “The Great Unbundling” and Facebook videos are seeing more than 8-billion views a day.

Facebook community update

Another interesting number not mentioned in the infographic is its search capabilities. The company now has more than 2-trillion indexed posts, illustrating just how much data it has at its disposal.

“With over 1.5 billion searches per day and over 2 trillion posts in our index, search is an important, long-term effort at Facebook,” said VP of Search Tom Stocky.

Now it may not be capable of taking on Google directly, as it’s previously stated it wants to, but it’s gradually making it less and less necessary to leave Facebook to find the things you want.

Read more: Facebook thinks its AI could do amazing things for blind people

Perhaps more important than Facebook’s bid to take on Google, the search company that now is, are its attempts to take on Alphabet, the company which Google once was. Both, for instance, are trying to connect parts of the world that are currently unconnected. Facebook through its Internet.org project has already brought more than 15-million people online. Google meanwhile is set to launch hundreds of balloons into the sky in 2016 as part of it Project Loon programme.

Both are also working one bleeding edge technologies. Alphabet’s [X] division is renowned for its Moonshots, which have produced self-driving cars and Google Glass, among other things. Facebook isn’t quite at that level of development just yet, but it’s AI work seems intriguing as does its Aquila internet drone. Its acquisition of Oculus also seems likely to pay off sooner rather than later.

One thing that’s clear however is that Facebook is no longer just a social network but a technology giant, alongside the likes of Apple and Google, under the helm of a visionary leader in Mark Zuckerberg.

Author | Stuart Thomas

Stuart Thomas
Stuart is the editor-in-chief of Engage Me Online. After pursuing an MA in South African literature, he spent five years reporting on the global technology scene. Intrigued by the intersection of technology and work, he joined Engage Me as the editor-in-chief. He is a passionate runner, and recently ran... More

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