Facebook’s revenue is increasing steadily despite controversies

31 Oct 2019

Image: © Boggy/Stock.adobe.com

Despite the ongoing public and political criticism directed at Facebook, the company’s revenue is still rising.

Facebook has revealed steady revenue and user growth in its latest financial results amid ongoing controversies surrounding the social network.

It said revenue in the last three months was up 29pc on the same period last year, while monthly active users rose 8pc to 2.45bn.

Facebook’s user base in Europe increased to 288m from 286m daily active users. In the US and Canada, there was an increase to 189m daily active users from 187m daily active users in the previous quarter.

The results come on the day the firm reached a settlement with the Information Commissioner’s Office in the UK following an investigation into the use of personal data in political campaigns.

The social media giant has also faced criticism over a policy on political advertising, saying it will not remove ads including false claims, citing freedom of expression.

‘Our community and business continue to grow’

In its latest financial results, Facebook reported total revenue for the last three months of $17.7bn, up from $13.7bn this time last year.

Advertising revenue has also risen – from $13.5bn to $17.4bn. Mobile ad revenue now accounts for 94pc of total ad sales. This is an increase from last year’s figure of 92pc.

“We had a good quarter and our community and business continue to grow,” Facebook founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg said.

“We are focused on making progress on major social issues and building new experiences that improve people’s lives around the world.”

The social network’s net income for the quarter also increased, rising from $5.1bn a year ago to $6bn.

The company expects its total expenses for 2020 to be between $54bn to $59bn, with capital expenditures of $17bn to $18bn. CFO Dave Wehner said that this will be driven by investments in data centres, servers, office facilities and the company’s network infrastructure.

‘Critical issues confronting Facebook’

With its Q3 earnings report, Facebook also announced that Susan Desmond-Hellmann will be stepping down from the company’s board of directors immediately, to meet the “increasing demands” of her role as CEO of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Desmond-Hellmann also cited her extended family and health as reasons for her departure.

She said: “I remain positive about Facebook and the mission to give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together. Facebook’s shareholders require a board of directors that is fully engaged and committed to address the critical issues confronting Facebook at this time.”

Zuckerberg added: “Sue has been a wonderful and thoughtful voice on the board for six years, and I’m personally grateful to her for everything she has done for this company.”

These issues may include the aforementioned concerns about Facebook’s advertising policy, which has elicited criticism from the general public, international government figures and some of the company’s employees. While Facebook has defended its stance, social media competitor Twitter vowed to remove all political advertising on its platform from 22 November 2019.

– PA Media, with additional reporting from Kelly Earley