Technology

Facebook shows revenue growth despite ad boycott but sees dip in US and Canadian users

Fb reported its third-quarter earnings on Thursday.


Angela Lang/PJDM

Facebook’s third-quarter earnings and income beat Wall Road’s expectations whilst advertisers boycotted the social community to place stress on the corporate to do extra to fight hate speech.

Main manufacturers, together with North Face, Verizon and Unilever, stated they might pull promoting from Fb. Civil rights teams known as on companies to pause spending on Fb adverts in July, the beginning of quarter, as a part of a marketing campaign known as Cease Hate for Revenue. Some companies stated they might pull adverts from Fb and different social networks for the remainder of the yr.

The earnings report on Thursday got here a day after Fb CEO Mark Zuckerberg was grilled by US senators in regards to the content material Fb leaves up or pulls down. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Google CEO Sundar Pichai additionally testified earlier than the Senate Commerce Committee, which held a listening to a few federal legislation that shields web platforms for user-generated content material.

The difficulty of content material moderation has taken on new significance as extra individuals flip to social networks to remain in contact with family and friends in the course of the coronavirus pandemic. The rise in use has prompted criticism that Fb and its friends aren’t flattening sufficient misinformation, notably forward of subsequent week’s contentious presidential election.

See additionally: Facebook pulled down your post. Here’s how to challenge that decision

Within the third quarter, 2.74 billion individuals logged into Fb every month, an increase of 12% in contrast with the identical interval final yr. The corporate, although, stated that it noticed customers within the US and Canada decline barely from the second quarter when utilization was rose due to the pandemic. Month-to-month lively customers within the US and Canada fell from 256 million within the second quarter to 255 million within the third quarter. Fb’s inventory was initially down greater than 2% to $280.83 per share in after-hours buying and selling.

“Within the fourth quarter of 2020, we count on this pattern to proceed and that the variety of [daily active users] and [monthly active users] within the US & Canada will probably be flat or barely down in comparison with the third quarter of 2020,” Fb stated Thursday. 

Fb posted income of $21.47 billion within the third quarter, beating expectations of $19.eight billion. The corporate earned $2.71 per share, above the $1.90 per share anticipated by analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters.

“Fb has rebounded properly from each the early-pandemic advertiser pullout, when entrepreneurs pulled adverts throughout all media to redo messaging or preserve funds, and from the July advert boycott,” stated Debra Aho Williamson, an analyst for eMarketer in an announcement. “Regardless of its challenges with election turmoil and content material moderation, it stays a go-to for advertisers looking for to have interaction a broad base of shoppers.”

Searching for new merchandise, safeguarding election integrity 

Fb remains to be searching for methods to develop whereas keeping off rivals similar to short-form video app TikTok.

In August, Fb-owned Instagram launched a characteristic known as Reels that lets customers publish movies with music and different results similar to slowing or dashing a video. The brand new characteristic, although, would not look like a giant risk to TikTok’s development.

The social community can be searching for new merchandise to promote, together with potential sensible glasses. Zuckerberg stated final month Fb had partnered with EssilorLuxottica, which owns eyewear brands including Ray-Ban. Related glasses may hit the market subsequent yr.

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Fb can be transferring ahead with plans to combine Messenger, Instagram direct messaging and WhatsApp, a messaging service the social community owns. Fb customers can now ship a message to an Instagram consumer with out having to obtain or change to a different app.

As well as, Fb has been taking steps to safeguard the upcoming presidential election. The corporate stated it is going to label posts if a candidate declares untimely victory.

It is also limiting political promoting. Fb stated it’s not accepting new political adverts every week earlier than election day on Nov. 3. The social community can be banning political adverts within the US after the polls shut indefinitely.

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Queenie Wong