Facebook’s quarterly profit jumped as the tech giant revealed larger than expected advertising growth amid controversy over Russia-linked content that appeared on its platform.
Total revenue rose 47 percent to$10.3bn (£7.8bn) due to a 49 percent rise in advertising sales to $10.1bn in the quarter to the end of September – that beat analysts’ expectations of $9.7bn, according to FactSet.
Facebook said mobile advertising made up 88 percent of ad revenue in the quarter, up from 84 percent previous year.
Net income jumped 79 percent to $4.7bn, or $1.59 per share, from $2.6bn, or 90 cents per share, in 2016.
The firm’s user base grew in the period, with daily active users rising 16 percent year-on-year for an average 1.37bn in September 2017.
Facebook’s mammoth advertising revenue figure comes just as the company is at the centre of a debate over reports Russia used the social media network to meddle in the 2016 US election, which Russia has denied.
Russians bought at least 3,000 US political ads and published 80,000 Facebook posts that were seen by as many as 126m Americans over two years, the firm has said.
The firm has also come under fire for allowing fake news stories to spread.
Facebook’s shares rose around 0.7 percent in after-hours trading after closing at an all-time high of 182.66p.
Facebook founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg today said: “Our community continues to grow and our business is doing well.
“But none of that matters if our services are used in ways that don’t bring people closer together. We’re serious about preventing abuse on our platforms. We’re investing so much insecurity that it will impact our profitability. Protecting our community is more important than maximizing our profits.”
Frontpage October 5, 2020