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MarketWatch First Take: Facebook needs its big bets to pay off soon after spooking investors

Facebook Inc. continues to grow like a young startup, but Mark Zuckerberg needs the startups hidden within his growing empire to start making money to maintain the momentum.

Facebook FB, -1.80%detailed third-quarter earnings Wednesday afternoon, showing off profits that grew 166% from last year and revenue growth of 56%. That growth stems from the number of ads that Facebook is shoving into users’ news feeds as well as the popular Instagram photo-sharing app.

That party appears to be ending.

“We continue to expect that ad load will play a less significant factor driving revenue growth after mid-2017,” Facebook CFO David Wehner said in Wednesday’s earnings call, later adding, “With a much smaller contribution from this important factor going forward, we expect to see ad revenue growth rates come down meaningfully.

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