When it came to its fourth-quarter performance, Facebook (META 1.89%) absolutely crushed it. The big quarter sent shares soaring 16% during the trading day following the social network's earnings release. Beating estimates on every front, investors couldn't have asked for more from the company.
As the market digests exactly what Facebook's fourth-quarter performance means for the company's future, here's a simple list of six mind-boggling facts from the report.
1. Facebook's revenue growth accelerated again. In 2014 and 2015, Facebook's revenue growth was decelerating. This wasn't a disappointment at the time; decelerating growth rates are expected from companies that are growing as fast as Facebook. But for two quarters in a row now, Facebook's year-over-year revenue growth is actually accelerating again.
Facebook's fourth-quarter year-over-year revenue growth was 52%. This compares to year-over-year growth of 41% in Q3, and 39% in Q2.
2. Facebook now has 1.59 billion monthly active users and 1.04 billion daily active users. It's difficult to overstate what an asset these figures are. The company's network effect -- a competitive advantage that grows more powerful with every additional user -- is as strong as ever.
What's perhaps most impressive about Facebook's monthly and daily active users is that its user base is still growing at meaningful rates, even with such a large base of users. Facebook's monthly and daily active users were up 14% and 17% from the year-ago quarter for the full year.
Here's another way to look at Facebook's user growth: The social network added nearly 200 million monthly active users and 148 million daily active users during the year.
3. Q4 mobile advertising revenue soared 80%, year over year. Don't forget: There was a time when investors were doubting whether or not mobile could even be monetized effectively.
4. Facebook reported $2.14 billion in free cash flow during Q4. Yes, Internet companies can be wildly profitable. And yes, social networks are viable business models.
What was Facebook's free cash flow for the full year? More than $6 billion.
5. More than 100 million hours of video are watched daily on Facebook. This is an impressive statistic, and it helps investors take the company seriously when Zuckerberg noted during Facebook's fourth-quarter earnings call that the company is "exploring ways to give people a dedicated place on Facebook for when they just want to watch videos."
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6. More than 1 billion people are using Facebook Groups every month. This is a testament to the social network's ability to bring together like-minded people, and it's yet another way the company is strengthening its network affect.
Sure, because Facebook stock trades at a premium, some investors may expect the company to be able to regularly outperform expectations; but these latest results from the company were downright exceptional. While the stock's pricey valuation continues to be difficult to stomach, making it difficult to justify buying shares, the company's outstanding execution isn't giving investors any reason to sell.