Facebook reported rising ad revenue and users in its quarterly report, showing resilience in the face of recent political turmoil surrounding the company.
Today, Facebook posted ad revenue of $17.4 billion, an increase of 28 percent year over year. The number of users on Facebook rose to 1.62 billion people daily, an increase of 9 percent year over year. Profits topped $6 billion, up 19 percent year over year.
The growth came despite Facebook’s myriad public issues. The Federal Trade Commission has been investigating Facebook’s market power and ownership of Instagram and WhatsApp. The probe is part of a broader look at anti-competitive practices from Silicon Valley’s biggest companies.
Just last week, Zuckerberg appeared before Congress, where he testified about Facebook’s plans for a new digital payments systems based on a cryptocurrency called Libra. That passion project looks increasingly unlikely given the political climate.
Also, just today, Twitter took a stance against political ads, banning them altogether, a move that could put more pressure on Facebook to take stronger measures against political ads on its service. Facebook has been under intense scrutiny from politicians and interest groups concerned about candidates buying ads that spread disinformation.
Now, Twitter won’t have to deal with misleading political ads, because CEO Jack Dorsey announced a moratorium on issues-based ads. It’s a move that Facebook has considered but ultimately decided against.
Despite the issues, advertisers continue to pour money into Facebook, according to Aaron Goldman, CMO at 4C Insights, a marketing technology platform that plugs into Facebook. “It’s business as usual at Facebook,” Goldman says. “There is a lot of noise and distractions but Facebook continues to deliver.”
There are few places that can offer the same size audience with the same level of targeting, Goldman says, explaining why advertisers have not moved away. “Advertisers speak with their conscience and vote with their wallets,” Goldman says.
Of course, Facebook has been navigating thorny questions about its platform for years now, and advertisers have weathered the storm with the company.
Facebook shares rose nearly 2 percent in after-hours trading.