Facebook makes $10bn from advertising in Q3, set to invest more on security
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg warned increased investment in security will result in a hit to future growth as the company revealed earnings reached new heights in Q3. Facebook’s Q3 profit jumped 79 per cent year-on-year, reaching $4.7 billion from $2.6 billion in the same quarter of 2016.
This was on total revenue of $10.3 billion, a 47 per cent increase from Q3 2016, with advertising accounting for $10.1 billion of the figure.
The social media giant, along with Twitter, is currently facing scrutiny over its failure to detect alleged Russian propagandist activity on their respective platforms, which may have influenced the 2016 US presidential election.
US Senators told the companies this week they had to improve the way they police misuse of their platforms, or face regulatory interference.
Addressing the situation in an earnings call, Zuckerberg revealed plans to double its safety and security workforce from 10,000 employees to 20,000, and tailor artificial intelligence (AI) platforms to tackle “areas of harmful content and finding fake accounts and other bad actors in the system”.
He expects all these things “will make our product better over the long term, but we will incur the expenses a lot sooner as we ramp up these efforts”.
The company said it expects full-year 2018 expenses to grow as much as 60 per cent compared with 2017.
“I am dead serious about this,” he added: “I’ve directed our teams to invest so much in security on top of the other investments we’re making that it will significantly impact our profitability going forward.”
While Zuckerberg issued warnings on future profit there was no sign of a dip just yet, as Facebook delivered a bumper set of results in Q3 fuelled by mobile advertising.
Similarly to Google, its main rival for ad dollars, the bulk of Facebook’s advertising revenue (88 per cent) came from mobile.
Facebook said the number of active advertisers stands at more than 6 million, while its subsidiary Instagram has more than 2 million.
The storm over Russia seemingly also had limited impact on Facebook’s popularity. The company said it had 1.37 billion daily active users at the end of Q3, a 16 per cent increase year-over-year.
Its monthly active user base also increased 16 per cent to 2.07 billion.
Photo: Flashback…Zuckerberg takes a selfie when he posed with President Buhari at Aso Rock, recently.