Facebook revenue up 29% in face of sustained scrutiny

It was another quarter of intense criticism for Facebook, yet the platform's bottom line remains untouched.

Facebook: ad revenue grew 28%
Facebook: ad revenue grew 28%

Facebook reported 29% year-on-year revenue growth to $17.7bn in the third quarter of 2019, as it continues to weather the pervasive scrutiny surrounding its practices.

Advertising revenue grew to $17.4bn in the three months to 30 September, up 28% year on year. Mobile ad revenue now accounts for 94% of total ad sales, the company said, up from 92% a year earlier.

The social network earned $6.1bn in net income in the quarter, up 19% year on year and significantly higher than the second quarter’s $2.6bn profit, impacted by its Federal Trade Commission settlement.

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

Facebook Q3 earnings

  • Revenue: $17.65bn
  • Advertising revenue: $17.38bn
  • Net income: $6.09bn
  • Daily active users: 1.62 billion
  • Monthly active users: 2.45 billion

User growth

The platform reached 2.45 billion monthly users in the third quarter, up 1.7% from the previous quarter, and 1.62 billion daily active users, up 2% from the last quarter.

It added 12 million daily users in Asia-Pacific, which now represents 39% of its daily user base – more than double that of the US and Canada and Europe regions. It added 20 million daily active users in the "rest of world" region, its second-biggest.

However, it did notably gain two million daily users in both the US and Canada and Europe markets –which now count 189 million and 288 million daily users respectively – after flatlining in the previous quarter.

Facebook said it counts more than 2.8 billion monthly users across its family of apps, which include Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger, and 2.2 billion daily users.

Asia-Pacific also represented the highest region for growth in revenue by user geography; that metric grew by 8.5% to $3.3bn in Asia-Pacific, followed by 7.5% in "rest of world" to $1.8bn, 4.6% to $8.5bn in the US and Canada, and 0.4% to $4.1bn in Europe.

Political stance

Facebook’s third quarter analyst call took place shortly after Twitter chief executive Jack Dorsey revealed the platform was to ban all political advertising from running on its platform.

During the call, Zuckerberg maintained that Facebook’s decision to continue running political ads was the best approach. He added that political ads will account for less than 0.5% of revenue next year.

"Some people accuse us of allowing the speech because they think that all we care about is making money – and that’s wrong," Zuckerberg said.

Elsewhere, Facebook saw headcount grow 28% year over year to 43,000, as it continued to rapidly hire moderators to review content on its platform.

A version of this story first appeared on Campaign Asia-Pacific

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