Facebook reported a strong end to its financial year as the social network’s monthly users jumped to more than 1.86 billion.

The technology giant, which also owns virtual reality firm Oculus as well as Instagram and WhatsApp, revealed its revenue had risen by 54% in the last year to 27.6 billion US dollars (£21.8 billion), while net income more than doubled from 3.7 billion dollars (£2.9 billion) to 10.2 billion dollars (£8 billion).

(Jonathan Brady/PA)

In September the number of Facebook users was 1.79 billion.

Mobile users – a key part of the Facebook business because of the rise of smartphones and tablets – also increased in both monthly and daily terms with 1.15 billion mobile users logging on to the site every day and 1.74 billion each month.

The social network’s founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg said: “Our mission to connect the world is more important now than ever.

(Rui Vieira/PA)

“Our business did well in 2016, but we have a lot of work ahead to help bring people together.”

Facebook has been criticised in recent weeks over the rise of so-called “fake news”, and whether the site is doing enough to combat the spread of false stories on the platform.

The company is also facing the prospect of a large legal bill after a court in Texas ruled VR firm Oculus must pay game publisher ZeniMax 500 million dollars (£395 million) over lack of compliance with a non-disclosure agreement.

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