Summary:

Facebook announced its first quarter earnings on Wednesday, with investors looking to see growth in the company’s mobile ad revenues.

Physical Facebook Like button

Facebook announced $1.46 billion in revenue Wednesday for the company’s first quarter of 2013, narrowly beating analyst estimates of $1.44 billion in revenue. The company saw first-quarter earnings of $0.12 per share excluding one-time charges, compared to analyst expectations of $0.13 per share. The first quarter revenue of $1.46 billion compares to revenue of $1.18 billion from the same quarter of 2012.

The company reported $219 million in net income and non-GAAP net income of $312 million, which translated to earnings per share of $0.12.

Mobile advertising revenue as a percentage of total ad revenue hit 30 percent in the first quarter, compared to 23 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012 and 14 percent in the third quarter. That growth on mobile is crucial for Facebook, which has been seeing pressure from Wall Street to show that in can perform on mobile, where users are increasingly headed. This quarter, ad revenue was $1.25 billion or 85 percent of total revenue, almost identical to last quarter’s 84 percent, but still down from the 86 percent in the third quarter.

CEO Mark Zuckerberg emphasized mobile app installs as a bright spot for the company, noting that it makes sense for mobile ads to send users to other apps, just as web ads send users to desktop sites.

“This type of ad just makes sense to me on mobile,” he said.

The company touted its performance and growth on mobile during the fourth quarter, but that growth in users has only continued into 2013. The company saw 751 million mobile monthly active users as of March 31, 2013, up from 680 million in December, and representing an increase of 54 percent over the the previous year.

Facebook saw total monthly active users hit 1.11 billion as of March 31, 2013, an increase of 23 percent increase over last year. Daily active users hit 665 million on average for March, compared to the 1.06 billion monthly actives and 618 million daily actie users reported in December 2012. And as previously reported, Instagram hit 100 million monthly active users in February.

In the company’s earnings call, Zuckerberg specifically mentioned Instagram’s growth, something he was less vocal about last quarter.

“I’m really proud of how Instagram is going,” he said. “Kevin and his team made incredible progress since last april, and the Instagram community is growing even faster than the Facebook community did when it was this size.”

And tellingly, since everyone is looking to see when Facebook will begin to earn money from the Instagram acquisition, Zuckerberg mentioned that they’re looking at different ways to give businesses opportunities on the photo-sharing app, not ruling out mobile ads.

“It’s something we’re thinking about,” he said.

Comments have been disabled for this post