Despite the pandemic that left many businesses in shambles, there has been a boom for Facebook, even though it says there are uncertainties ahead.
The social media giant last week said the platform experienced a declined as the number of monthly active users in the US and Canada dropped slightly. It expects this trend to continue. However, the extent of damage is still unclear because Facebook does not break down users’ numbers by region.
Facebook’s current revenue beat what analysts had predicted. The revenue jumped 22% to 21.47b, an obvious rosy picture in terms of financial performance and user growth. The net income increased 29% to $7.85b.
Following the statistics during the last quarter ending in September, the company experienced a 12% surge from the previous year, totalling a number of 2.74b monthly active users. With other apps combined, WhatsApp, Instagram and Messenger, the company reported a surge of 14% increment, 3.21b monthly active users.
On the other hand, the company said it had expected that engagements would drop massively if stay-at-home orders eased. It had expected that engagements would drop resulting to a reduced income flow. With the second wave of the virus which has begun in some countries where the lockdown is already taking effect, the company reported that it would face “a significant amount of uncertainty.”
“We believe the pandemic has contributed to an acceleration in the shift of commerce from offline to online, and we experienced increasing demand for advertising as a result of this acceleration. Considering that online commerce is our largest ad vertical, a change in this trend could serve as a headwind to our 2021 ad revenue growth,” the company said in its earnings report.
Another challenge it mentioned was the change in iPhone software changes that it expects would hurt its advertising business and the evolving regulatory landscape.
Prior to this report, Facebook CEO, had appeared before Senators on the Commerce committee alongside Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Google CEO, Sundar Pichai. The hearing which was supposed to focus on the law that propels the companies to moderate content on their platforms, the senators confronted other issues including antitrust, misinformation about voting and election interference.
“We had a strong quarter as people and businesses continue to rely on our services to stay connected and create economic opportunity during these tough times,” the Facebook boss said in a statement.
Facebook has been in an entanglement with issues concerning sponsored ads and content moderation regarding the forthcoming US election. In July, it suffered a pull-out during a major advertising boycott, a protest of what they said was the site’s failures to curb the spread of hate. Top companies including Upwork, Dashlane and Pentagoni joined the campaign to stop ads. The big tech had suffered a plummet in stock at the time when other big companies including Cocacola and Hershey said they would pause spending on the platform as they would not want to be associated with hate speech and misinformation.
Despite the setbacks it had faced and the current election turmoil and content moderation, the eMarketer principal analyst, Debra Aho Williamson maintains that the company “remains a go-to for advertisers seeking to engage a broad base of consumers.