FORTUNE — Eager to prove it can still innovate, Facebook’s
executives touted the company’s increasingly complex slate of new projects in its first-quarter earnings call today.
Here’s a taste: In the last quarter, Facebook has executed two major acquisitions ($19 billion for WhatsApp and $2 billion for Oculus Rift), launched an app called Paper, revamped its messaging app, copied location-sharing apps with “Nearby Friends,” and experimented with Instagram ads, in-stream video ads, and a mobile ad network.
In response to analyst questions on most of these subjects, Facebook’s executives had the same response: It’s early days.
- The mobile ad network is early days, COO Sheryl Sandberg said.
- Videos ads are early days, she said.
- Ad targeting still has “a long way to go,” she said.
- Instagram, Facebook Messenger (which has 200 million users), and WhatsApp are still trying to get to scale — they won’t focus on monetizing for a few years, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said.
- Paper, a standalone app created through Facebook’s creative skunkworks operation, is “just getting started,” he said.
- The WhatsApp and Oculus deals haven’t even closed yet, he noted.
- On reports that Facebook is preparing a mobile payments product, COO Sheryl Sandberg was politic: “We’ve had a payments business for awhile, and we continue to have one, and we have nothing new to announce there.”
It’s all a part of the story that Facebook is still innovative — it still moves fast and breaks things. Facebook not losing its cache with teenagers is a major concern of investors. Nor is it blind to big trends, like the anonymity of apps like Secret and Whisper, or the ephemerality of Snapchat.
The company had more to say about its revenue, which, like usual, was strong. Facebook earned $2.5 billion in revenue in the first quarter of 2014, a 72% increase over the same period last year. The vast majority of that income came from advertising, (the rest, payments related to gaming apps). The company earned $0.25 per share in the first quarter of 2014, a 178% increase over the same period last year. Mobile advertising accounted for 59% of the company’s revenue, a complete turnaround from one year ago, when mobile made up just 30% of income.
Facebook also announced CFO David Ebersman would step down starting in June. Ebersman is known for taking the blame when Facebook was accused of misleading investors about its finances prior to its IPO. The move earned Facebook, Zuckerberg, and its bankers a lawsuit from investors. On the earnings call, Ebersman said his decision to leave was personal and “based on a desire to get back into health care,” the industry he worked in prior to joining Facebook almost five years ago. He noted that he was ready for a change from the CFO role as well. He’ll step down in June from the role, but oversee the transition through September. David Wehner, who joined Facebook in 2012 from Zynga
, will replace him.