Facebook posts record £5.2bn profit despite multiple scandals

Facebook posted a record quarterly profit despite fears that the company’s growth was declining after multiple negative reports throughout 2018.

According to its latest earnings report on Wednesday, the company posted a record $6.9bn (£5.2bn) profit for the final three months in 2018, up by 61% from the $4.3bn (£3.2) profit it reached in the same period last year.

Growth in revenue

Facebook’s revenues for the quarter rose by 30% to $16.9bn (£12.8bn) from $12bn (£9.1bn) previously.

This strong growth spread across to the full-year results as well. Facebook’s total profit for 2018 was $22.1bn (£16.9bn), an increase of 31% from $15.9bn (£12.09bn) in 2017.

Revenue for 2018 was up 38% at $55.8bn (£42.4bn) from $40.6bn (£30.9bn) in 2017.

Concerns that the firm’s recent alleged scandals could discourage advertisers to do business with the company also proved untrue.

The latest earnings report shows that the firm earned $55bn (£41.8bn) in advertising revenue in 2018.

The fourth quarter caps off one the most difficult years in Facebook’s 15-year history.

“Our community and business continue to grow,” said CEO Mark Zuckerberg. “We’ve fundamentally changed how we run our company to focus on the biggest social issues, and we’re investing more to build new and inspiring ways for people to connect.”

Facebook said it plans to hire thousands of new employees and invest in new technologies to respond to fears about manipulation and abuse, and promised to data protection more seriously.

2.7bn people use Facebook every month

The number of employees working at the company as of December 31st was 35,587, up 42% year-over-year.

Facebook also confirmed that its daily active users (DAUs) for December was 1.5bn people on average, up 9% from the previous year.

More than 1.5bn people use Facebook every day, and 2.3bn use it every month.

Facebook estimated that approximately 2.7bn people now use Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, or Messenger each month.

“Facebook Reseach” app

The news comes a day after it was revealed that the company used an app called “Facebook Research” to learn more about users’ browsing habits.

Facebook paid users as young as 13-years-old to install an app to help the company ‘spy’ on users and gather data about them.

Facebook denied the allegations, claiming that the company “wasn’t ‘spying’ as all of the people who signed up to participate went through a clear on-boarding process asking for their permission and were paid to participate”.

According to a CNN report, Apple has now banned the market research app because it violated its policies.

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