Facebook Shrugs Off Scandals With Strong Financials

Facebook has shrugged off another year of regulatory pressure and scandals, and demonstrated that despite all the problems it has faced, it hasn’t impacted its fiscal performance.

The social networking giant continued to grow its lucrative mobile advertising business, and the number of active users also continued to rise.

Earlier this week Facebook agreed to drop its appeal against the half a million pound fine by the Information Commissioners Office (ICO), over its role in the Cambridge Analytica data sharing scandal in 2018.

Good quarter

For the past three years now, Facebook has been dealing with hostility from both users and lawmakers over its handling of personal data, and its inability to ensure the integrity of its popular news feeds and deal with fake news.

But this has had precious little impact on the firm’s bottom line.

For the third quarter FY19 ending 30 September, Facebook posted a 19 percent rise in net profit to $6.1bn, from $5.1bn in the same year-ago quarter.

Revenues rose 29 percent to $17.7bn from $13.7bn a year earlier.

“We had a good quarter and our community and business continue to grow,” said CEO Mark Zuckerberg. “We are focused on making progress on major social issues and building new experiences that improve people’s lives around the world.”

User growth

Facebook also revealed that the number of daily active users (DAUs) reached 1.62 billion on average for September 2019, an increase of 9 percent year-over-year.

Monthly active users (MAUs) were 2.45 billion, an increase of 8 percent year-over-year.

And another key metric was mobile advertising revenue, which represented approximately 94 percent of advertising revenue for the third quarter of 2019, up from approximately 92 percent of advertising revenue in the third quarter of 2018.

The number of staff at Facebook also increased to 43,030, up 28 percent year-over-year.

On a conference call, Zuckerberg was forced to go on the defensive over Facebook’s stance of running adverts from politicians containing false or misleading claims, saying that Facebook did not want to stifle political speech.

The pressure on Zuckerberg was increased today when Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey revealed that from 20 November, Twitter would ban all political adverts around the world.

Quiz: Think you know all about Facebook?

Tom Jowitt

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelancer and long standing contributor to Silicon UK. He is also a bit of a Lord of the Rings nut...

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