Facebook reports strong Q4 earnings despite year of troubles

07 February, 2019, 12:53 | Author: Frank Williams
  • Facebook Privacy Updates and Interest Based Ad Model

SAN FRANCISCO: Facebook said Wednesday quarterly profit climbed to $6.9 billion as its ranks of users continued to grow despite scandals that have dented the leading social network´s image.

The social media giant also saw a steady rise in a number of its key metrics as both daily active users and monthly active users saw 9% year-on-year growth.

Despite 2018 being its most hard year to date, Facebook has announced record profits of $6.9bn in 4Q18, up from $4.3bn the year before, marking a 61% increase. FMR LLC grew its stake in Facebook by 1.7% during the third quarter.

Facebook was hammered a year ago by a series of scandals over data protection and privacy and concerns that the leading social network had been manipulated by foreign interests for political purposes.

The number of employees as of Dec 31 was 35,587, an increase of 42 per cent year over year.

Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook, has said he expects the Facebook Watch service to become "more mainstream" this year.

UBS Group restated their neutral rating on shares of Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) in a research report sent to investors on Thursday morning, www.boersen-zeitung.de reports.

"The firm had fundamentally changed how we run the company to focus on the biggest social issues", he added. The social networking company reported $2.38 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks' consensus estimate of $2.18 by $0.20.

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The move, which is meant to boost the user engagement on the social networking platform at a time when growth has slowed down for the company, has raised several security and privacy concerns from users around the world.

"It's clear that overall, the Facebook family of apps has the breadth of formats and the reach marketers are looking for when it comes to engaging with their audiences and placing ads", says Yuval Ben-Itzhak, CEO of Socialbakers - a Facebook marketing partner.

Visual social network Instagram has been a bright spot for Facebook, with use and revenue rising.

Zuckerberg also confirmed plans to integrate all the company's messaging services-Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger-so they can chat with each other.

More specifically, the company is planning to deliver new experiences in the following areas.

Facebook ads, and those of larger rival Google, are still more relevant and effective than most other options, precisely because the companies collect so much information on activity across the internet and beyond. However, they are still in "really early" stages of planning this move and they need more time to figure this out.

The company also warned that revenue growth will slow because of shifts in its advertising business.

According to a Pew Research Center survey past year, 51 per cent of USA teens ages 13 to 17 use Facebook, compared with 72 per cent for Facebook-owned Instagram and 69 per cent who are on Snapchat.

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