Facebook on Wednesday reported a spike in profits and revenue thanks to soaring ad sales, but warned it could face future “headwinds” from regulatory changes. and technology.
The social network’s revenue in the fourth quarter increased to 28 billion dollars, up 33% from a year earlier and surpassed Wall Street estimates. Total profit reached 11.2 billion USD, up 53%.
Facebook’s business kept going up, even when it got into a lot of controversy. It has been criticized for the prevalence of misinformation on its platforms and the impact of such misinformation on users, while regulators are increasingly concerned about the overwhelming power of it.
In December, the Federal Trade Commission and more than 40 states accused Facebook of acquiring its rivals to limit illegal competition. This month, Facebook angered conservatives and others for banning former President Donald J. Trump’s account, citing him inciting violence.
Even so, the company continues to attract new users. Facebook’s apps – including Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger – had more than 3.3 billion monthly regular users in Q4, a new high. About 2.6 billion of them use one of Facebook’s apps every day, the company said.
After the first drop in ads in March, Facebook’s business boomed as more people bought products online during the pandemic, executives said. The company said it expects that trend to continue.
“Despite the negative publicity and antitrust lawsuits, nothing seems to stop the most important advertising platform,” said Jesse Cohen, a senior analyst at Investing.com. this world.
Facebook says one area of uncertainty is latent regulation, especially in Europe. The company is closely monitoring Irish rulings that could prohibit them from transferring European Union user data to the United States. Executives also said they are concerned about changes Apple is making to its mobile operating system, iOS, in terms of app tracking, which could hinder some tools. target Facebook ads.
Facebook also said that it will no longer recommend political groups to users, and that it is looking to reduce the amount of political content appearing on users’ News Feed. The actions are based on feedback from users, who say they don’t want to fight politically into their entire Facebook experience, the company said.
In a statement, Mark Zuckerberg, chief executive of Facebook, was positive.
“We have come to a good end this year as people and businesses continue to use our services in these challenging times,” he said. “I’m excited about our product roadmap for 2021 as we build new and meaningful ways to create economic opportunity, build communities and make people happy.”