Facebook dramatically grew its sales and revenues, but growth comes at a price, as it also increased its research and development budget. Facebook’s fourth quarter sales were at $3.85 billion, exceeding Wall Street estimates of $3.77 billion, according to Bloomberg. Mobile, which was the Achilles heel of Facebook just two years ago, increased to 69% of sales from 66%. The stock has risen 39% since last year. Marketwatch reports that the number of monthly active users of Facebook rose to 1.39 billion from 1.35 billion last quarter. Daily active users grew to 890 million from 757 million in 2014.
There is a price to be paid for success, as Facebook’s expenses grew 87%. Analysts and investors were worried when CEO Mark Zuckerberg spoke of “investing aggressively, ” which means perhaps making acquisitions and hiring more people. Facebook is looking to expand beyond its core social media business and move into artificial intelligence and connecting as much of the world’s population as possible.
Business Insider reports that Zuckerberg was called upon to defend his desire to connect the world rather than just focus on the business of making money. His effort, called Internet.org, was questioned for its relevance to investors. When asked why it matters to investors, Zuckerberg replied, “It matters to the kind of investors we want to have.” He added, “We don’t build services to make money; we make money to build better services.”