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Date: 4 November 2016 18:34
More than one billion people now access Facebook on their phones, and the number of people browsing the web on their mobile devices overall exceeded those browsing on the desktop for the first time in October.
Surpassing the one billion mobile user mark was a key milestone for Facebook, whose revenue increasingly comes from mobile advertising. There are now 1.18 billion people who log on to the social network every day, and 1.09 billion of them use mobile devices, according to Facebook's third-quarter earnings report.
Mobile ads represent 84 percent of the company's overall ad revenue, but the company also reported stronger earnings from desktop ads, thanks in part to an initiative over the summer to circumvent ad blockers.
Facebook's mobile growth mirrors a more general trend in Internet browsing. Mobile and tablet devices accounted for 51.3 percent of Internet usage worldwide in October compared to 48.7 percent by desktop, analytics firm StatCounter reported this week. It was the first time that mobile browsing outpaced desktop.
Most of the growth in mobile browsing has been in developing countries with spotty Internet access. Facebook has invested heavily in delivering subsidized Internet to those countries. In its earnings report, the company said that it now counts 40 million users of its Internet accessibility initiatives, which include the carrier-subsidized Free Basics app and Express Wifi hubs. Eventually, Facebook plans to beam down Internet signals from giant laser-equipped drones that can stay aloft for months at a time.
Meanwhile, laptops and desktops are still the primary platforms for Internet use in mature markets such as the US and UK, according to StatCounter.