Facebook Grows Profit, Despite Multiple Scandals

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The Wall Street Journal reports that Facebook has posted a record quarterly profit, reporting per-share earnings of $2.38 in the fourth quarter; up from $1.44 previous year and beating Wall Street analysts projects of $2.18.

The company said fourth-quarter sales were $16.91 billion, ahead of the $16.4 billion analysts expected.

Facebook's operating margin fell 11 percentage points year over year to 46% during the fourth quarter, due to higher infrastructure investments and a 42% increase in its headcount.

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg in the earnings call underlined that Instagram Stories generated over 25 percent of new customer sales for Washington DC-based online custom picture frame maker Framebridge.

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook's co-founder and chief executive, said the platform's "community and business continues to grow".

Facebook's monthly active users (MAUs) rose 9% to 2.32 billion, and its daily active users (DAUs) also climbed 9% to 1.52 billion.

Facebook continues to experience a series of scandals over data protection and user privacy, among others although the social network continuously denies the allegations.

Proof positive that Mark Zuckerberg has built something that millions and millions of people are still using every day.

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It may also open Facebook up to additional data privacy issues.

But analysts say the trust issue is crucial for Facebook if it wants to move forward in its mission to connect the world. Although the company offers no country-by-country breakdown of its users, 947 million were in the Asia-Pacific region, 381 million in Europe and 242 million in North America. "Advertisers are clearly still very reliant on Facebook".

Most backlash against the proposed integration is likely to come from outside of the US.

Facebook is no longer the preferred social network for the youngest age groups, at least in the United States. However now it seems Facebook is really dealing with some hard pressure as WhatsApp has left Facebook behind and became the most popular App among people.

As it approaches its 15th anniversary, Facebook has been able to keep revenue momentum thanks to its unique advertising model that allows marketers to reach specific segments of users.

Facebook Stories ads and Instagram shopping. If consumers haven't done so already, they will now realize that Instagram and WhatsApp are part of the Facebook family, potentially exposing those platforms to the reputation problems suffered by core Facebook over the past few years.

As the number of ad placement options grows, it's getting more complicated for marketers to target audiences across Facebook's properties.

As Facebook shifts its focus away from clickbait to emphasize "meaningful" interactions and fights a seemingly never-ending cycle of bad press, it's less clear what engagement with the main Facebook app looks like.

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