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2016-11-03 01:32:15
Facebook Defies Social Media Gravity With User and Profit Growth

SAN FRANCISCO — To paraphrase Isaac Newton’s third law of motion, what goes up must, inevitably, come down. Now try telling that to Facebook.

The social network on Wednesday reached the latest milestones in its quest to dominate the world, topping 1.79 billion monthly visitors as of the end of September, up 16 percent from a year ago. Facebook also added a record number of new daily users and said for the first time that more than one billion people regularly used its network exclusively on their mobile device every month.

And those numbers do not even include Facebook’s other properties, such as the photo-sharing service Instagram and the messaging service WhatsApp.

Facebook’s user growth defies the usual trajectories for social media companies, which often start strong out of the gate and then sharply slow down. Twitter, which added four million new visitors last quarter, now serves a user base roughly one-sixth the size of Facebook’s. Snapchat, while popular among young users, has about 150 million daily users, about half as many as Twitter.

That gives Facebook the major advantage of a giant and still fast-growing audience, an edge that Sheryl K. Sandberg, the company’s chief operating officer, acknowledged in an interview.

“We’re really pleased at the strong growth of the Facebook community,” Ms. Sandberg said. “That’s pretty exciting to us.”

The company’s strength in users, which is a major draw to advertisers, also fed Facebook’s financial performance. The company said on Wednesday that sales totaled $6.82 billion for the third quarter, up 59 percent from a year ago. Mobile advertising revenue was particularly strong, accounting for 84 percent of all ad sales. Total profit was $2.38 billion, nearly three times as much as a year ago.